If you’re dealing with LGS which is short for lennox gastarut syndrome, you know how hard it can be both for the patient and the care giver.
Here is a brief explanation of the medical condition of LGS along with how it can be dealt with, and possible future treatments that are being looked at for this condition.
This condition which is a very chronic form of epilepsy has no current known cure. It involves numerous types of seizures and normally begins in early childhood. Although it is challenging to treat, it is not impossible.
If you are able to establish a pattern of specific types of seizures, along with their frequency, this may assist your neurologist in prescribing the proper medication to treat those specific types of seizures.
Lennox gastrut syndrome is usually noticed between the ages of two and six, although it could begin earlier, it may take time for signs or symptoms to show, but there are signs that may point to the individual possible having LGS. These include:
- The appearance of many atonic or tonic seizures
- The appearance of many absence seizures
There are other seizures involved but, these are the two main types that may point to having this condition. Most of the time it is hard to know exactly what type of seizure an individual may be having.
Seizures lasting up to thirty minutes is considered status epilepticus where the individual can not stop having a seizure. This requires immediate medical attention where the individual should be taken to a hospital.
When considering LGS as being a possibility, there are different questions you should ask if you suspect that this may be the case. These include:
- When was the problem first noticed ?
- How frequent do the seizures occur ?
- What’s the average duration and characteristics of the seizure ?
- Were there any birth complications ?
- Have there been any previous brain injuries or behavioral issues ?
The frequency of seizures seen and any possible intellectual issues or slowness in learning are two of the main signs that should be considered, but the other questions mentioned are also factors in the possible development of LGS.
Here are some research articles that may be of interest concerning treatments being looked at.
Forms of treatment
Although there is no treatment that will totally control the condition of LGS, there are different medications, along with medical procedures that can help. One form of treatment concerns the nutritional content the individual is consuming. The use of the ketogenic form of eating has been shown to help decrease the symptoms and frequency of the condition.
This way of eating involves a much smaller consumption of carbohydrates in one’s diet with a higher amount of healthy fats such as nuts and oils, and protein. Before using this you must first talk to your doctor, especially if the individual has diabetes which concerns the control of blood sugar levels.
Medical marijuana (CBD oil)
The use of medical marijuana or CBD oil which is the good strain of marijuana may be another option for treatment. More research is needed on this though in order to know the specific reactions of the body when using this form of treatment.
Another option in the treatment of LGS is surgery. This should be the last option only for the individual in which no other form of treatment has helped.
Vegal Nerve Stimulation
This involves a device being implanted into the individual which sends an impulse to the brain to help control the seizure and requires that a device be implanted. The individual will scan the device prior to a seizure. VNS is especially effective for the individual that can feel or sense a seizure about to happen.
The surgery of a lobotomy which is separation of the lobes is used more for the individual with an uncontrollable amount of seizures in which no other treatment has helped. This involves separating the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
If this type of surgery is necessary, the individual will probably need continuous care for daily activities. If this is the case, an option of assisted living or a special education facility may be options to consider.
There are also options and services concerning support for those with LGS or epilepsy in general. Having a group like this will help ease the stress allowing you to share your situation with others dealing with the condition.
There is no known cure for LGS, but it is at least possible to control to a certain point. Knowing the individual has the condition through keeping track of the signs and symptoms can assist in having more control. Research is being conducted on more effective treatments for LGS.
Finding a form of treatment in which frequency of seizures drastically decrease and minimal brain damage is seen, allowing the individual to live a more normal and productive life is the overall goal for this chronic condition.