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New antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Author(s): Alberto VERROTTI | Giangennaro COPPOLA | Lucia FIORDALISO | Claudia D'EGIDIO | Giulia LOIACONO | Francesco CHIARELLI

Journal: Journal of Pediatric Sciences
ISSN 1309-1247

Volume: 1;
Issue: Special Issue-1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: antiepileptic drugs | Lennox- Gastaut syndrome | epilepsy

Lennox–Gastaut syndrome is a childhood epileptic encephalopathy characterised by polymorphic seizures and neuropsychological decline. The most characteristic seizures are tonic fits, atypical absences and atonic seizures, in that order. Treatment options for patients with LGS are limited because of the resistance of seizures to pharmacological treatment. Owing to the many seizure types, many drugs are used in combinations that are mostly guided by anecdotal evidence or personal experience. Opinions towards treatment are further complicated because an antiepileptic drug might be of some benefit for the control of one type of seizure while aggravating another type. Concomitantly, polytherapy increases the potential for adverse events. The ultimate goal of epilepsy treatment is to achieve seizure control in a safe manner. Seizure freedom appears to be unrealistic in some refractory epilepsies, especially LGS. In this Review, we discuss newer antiepileptic drugs (Felbamate, Lamotrigine, Levetiracetam, Topiramate, Rufinamide, Vigabatrin, Zonisamide) in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Investigation of the effects of newer medications might help to identify treatments that, when used in the early stages of the disorder, might have long-term beneficial effects on seizures and the associated comorbidities.
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