International Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Awareness Day is observed every year on November 1. The day meant to create awareness about the condition, a form of epilepsy, was started first in the USA. The Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Foundation first started the observance. The disease, a form of epilepsy, is characterised by seizures and it often shows up between two and six years of age. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is also accompanied by many different health problems and stunting of emotional development. It’s a difficult condition to treat, but research to find therapies for the syndrome is still on. International Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Awareness Day 2019 is observed on November 1, Friday. On this day, here is everything you need to know about the epileptic disorder, from symptoms to causes to treatment.
What is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome?
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is a form of epilepsy, where the person suffers from seizures. The condition develops between two and six years of age and is also characterised by different health, cognitive and emotional issues. It is named after neurologists William G Lennox and Henri Gastaut who happened to describe the condition. Marijuana Approved by FDA: Epidiolex To Treat Epilepsy, Can Legally Use as Medicinal Drug.
What Are Its Causes?
There is no one cause of the syndrome. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome also happens to be very difficult to predict since it doesn’t show any physiological symptoms before it starts developing. West syndrome, another rare epileptic disorder, is believed to be the precursor to Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
According to WebMD, other causes of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome include oxygen shortage during birth, foetal brain injuries, brain infections, spasms in infancy, nerve disorders in the brain, tuberculosis sclerosis and genetic factors.
What are the Symptoms of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome?
Children suffering from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome don’t show any physiological symptoms before the age of two and six. The symptoms are mainly characterised by seizures of two types:
• Atomic seizures where the person drops to the ground due to losing muscle tone.
• Tonic seizures which cause the person’s body to stiffen up when the person is asleep.
• Absence seizures, which makes the person stare blankly or nod or blink quickly.
How is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Treated?
The condition is traditionally treated with a variety of drugs meant for treating seizures. These medications will help curb seizures and reduce their effects. Drugs like cannabidiol, clobazam, topiramate and valproate are used for treating Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
A ketogenic diet, which was used to treat epilepsy, is prescribed to the children. Although doctors don’t know how it works, a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb keto diet has helped to a large extent to reduce seizures.
Medical marijuana has also been explored as a treatment option for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, especially to treat seizures. If medications and diet fail to show improvement, doctors perform surgery by placing a vagus nerve stimulator to control the seizures.
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Foundation organises the awareness day on November 1 to improve public understanding about the condition. On this day, funds raised from the various events are used to further treatment research for the disease.