International forskning

Current and emerging pharmacotherapy for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Besag FMC | Vasey MJ | Chin RFM

East London NHS Foundation Trust, Bedford, UK.; School of Pharmacy, University College London, London, UK.; Department of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK.; East London NHS Foundation Trust, Bedford, UK.; Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.; Department of Paediatric Neurosciences, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh, UK.




Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe childhood-onset epileptic encephalopathy, characterized by multiple seizure types, generalized slow spike-and-wave complexes in the EEG, and cognitive impairment. Seizures in LGS are typically resistant to treatment with antiseizure medications (ASMs). Tonic/atonic (‘drop’) seizures are of particular concern, due to their liability to cause physical injury.

Areas covered

We summarize evidence for current and emerging ASMs for the treatment of seizures in LGS. The review focuses on findings from randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (RDBCTs). For ASMs for which no double-blind trials were identified, lower quality evidence was considered. Novel pharmacological agents currently undergoing investigation for the treatment of LGS are also briefly discussed.

Expert opinion

Evidence from RDBCTs supports the use of cannabidiol, clobazam, felbamate, fenfluramine, lamotrigine, rufinamide, and topiramate as adjunct treatments for drop seizures. Percentage decreases in drop seizure frequency ranged from 68.3% with high-dose clobazam to 14.8% with topiramate. Valproate continues to be considered the first-line treatment, despite the absence of RDBCTs specifically in LGS. Most individuals with LGS will require treatment with multiple ASMs. Treatment decisions should be individualized and take into account adverse effects, comorbidities, general quality of life, and drug interactions, as well as individual efficacy.