Seizures Associated With LGS
By Steven Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP

A person with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) may experience multiple seizure types.

The types of seizures associated with LGS

tonic seizures

Tonic seizures are characterized by a stiffening of muscles lasting from a few seconds to up to a minute. Generally, muscles tighten, eyes roll back, and pupils dilate.1 Breathing may temporarily stop and heart rate can increase.1 Tonic seizures usually happen during sleep, but a patient who is standing can be thrown to the ground (a “drop attack”).1,2

Atonic seizures consist of a brief loss of muscle tone, causing falls (also known as “drop attacks” or “drop seizures”).2 They’re usually very brief, lasting only a few seconds.1

Tonic-clonic seizures begin with stiffening of the limbs (the tonic phase), followed by jerking of the limbs and face (the clonic phase).3

Atypical absence seizures consist of staring spells lasting generally from 5 to 30 seconds, with gradual onset and termination.1,2 Signs of this type of seizure may include staring, pauses in activity, and a lack of response.1

Myoclonic seizures are sudden muscle jerks. They usually happen the same way on both sides of the body.3

Clonic seizures are characterized by a pattern of jerking movements.3

Partial seizures are limited to a specific area of the brain and sometimes result in a loss of consciousness.4

Recording your child’s seizures

You should monitor your child and try to identify these seizures as they occur. Using a seizure diary or recording a video of an episode, and sharing these with your doctor will help him or her identify the type of seizure. This may help your doctor change treatment as necessary.

Dr Wolf and Ms McGoldrick run a collaborative partnership in the care of people with epilepsy at a comprehensive epilepsy center in New York.

Dr Wolf and Ms McGoldrick are paid consultants of Eisai Inc.

  1. Crumrine PK. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. J Child Neurol. 2002;17(suppl 1):S70-75.
  2. Arzimanoglou A, French J, Blume WT, et al. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: a consensus approach on diagnosis, assessment, management, and trial methodology. Lancet Neurol. 2009;8(1):82-93.
  3. Benbadis SR. Epileptic seizures and syndromes. Neurol Clin. 2001;19(2):251-270.
  4. NIH. Partial (focal) seizure. Medline Plus Web site. Accessed July 19, 2017.