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Landau Kleffner Syndrome (LKS)

What is Landau Kleffner syndrome?

Landau Kleffner syndrome is childhood disorder affecting language and language comprehension. It is characterized primarily by the loss of language comprehension (auditory verbal agnosia), and a loss of verbal expression. LKS also seems to cause severe abnormalities in electroencephalograms during sleep, and seizures in many patients. LKS is also known as acquired aphasia with convulsive disorder and acquired epileptiform aphasia.

What are the symptoms of Landau Kleffner syndrome?

Symptoms of LKS typically appear around the ages of three to seven. In rare cases it has been observed to affect children as young as 18 months. The most common symptom is an apparent deafness on the part of the child as language comprehension fails. Some LKS affected children will display dysfunctional behaviors such as hyperactivity, outbursts, or withdrawal.

What causes Landau Kleffner syndrome?

The causes of LKS are unknown. Genetic factors are suspected. The GRINA2 gene is currently the most suspected location of a mutation. Some patients respond positively to treatment for autoimmune or inflammatory diseases. These results are also being investigated.

How is Landau Kleffner syndrome diagnosed?

Clinical symptoms and the results of an EEG are currently the best methods of diagnosing LKS. Confirmation may require MRI to rule out other disease states, and hearing studies to verify loss of language rather than loss of auditory function.

What are the treatments for Landau Kleffner syndrome?

Treatment often begins with prescribing drugs to prevent or suppress seizures. Language and speech therapy is important to help children regain functional speech. Sign language and special education may assist in treatment as well.

Where can I find out more about Landau Kleffner syndrome?

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