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Landau Kleffner Syndrome

Landau Kleffner Syndrome (LKS) is a rare form of childhood epilepsy which results in a severe language disorder, a form of aphasia, (loss of language), and usually develops between 3 and 7 years. It is twice as common in males than females. Initially, these individuals have a healthy, problem-free development with normal speech and vocabulary. These individuals first lose their ability to comprehend and then their ability to speak expressive speech. These changes can occur gradually or suddenly.

Early signs may be referred to as auditory agnosia,

Spoken language is eventually affected, which may lead to complete loss of the ability to speak.

Some children develop their own method of communicating, such as with gestures orsigns.

Associated Features:
History of one or more epileptic seizures that usually occur at night
Abnormal electrical brain wave activity on both sides of the brain.
Differential Diagnosis:

Some disorders display similar or sometimes even the same symptom. The clinician, therefore, in his diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against the following disorders which one needs to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Hearing Impairment.
Learning Disability.
Attention Deficit Disorder.
Mental Retardation.
Childhood Schizophrenia.
Emotional and / or Behavioral Problems.

The cause of LKS is not known. It has been suggested may have been a dysfunctional immune system, exposure to a virus, and brain trauma. The disorder usually occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 7. Typically, these children develop normally and then, for no apparent reason, they lose the ability to understand others and to speak.


Treatment for LKS usually consists of medications and specialized therapy programmes., A controversial treatment option involves a surgical technique called multiple subpial transection in which the pathways of abnormal electrical brain activity are severed.

Counseling and Psychotherapy [ See Therapy Section ]:

Speech and language therapy and special education are essential for these children. Children with little or no language comprehension should be introduced to a sign language as early as possible. Education should be in a special class or school for children with severe speech and language disorders.

Pharmacotherapy [ See Psychopharmacology Section ] :


DSM Code


F80.3 Landau Kleffner Syndrome

Disorder Sheets

Friends of Landau Kleffner Syndrome (F.O.L.K.S)
3 Stone Buildings (Gnd Floor)
Lincoln's Inn
+44870 847 0707
Email: Click Here

Recommended Book

The Official Parent's Sourcebook on Landau-Kleffner Syndrome - Click Here to View:


Landau Kleffner Syndrome

Misc Information Chat

Child Psychology - Disorders