Landau-Kleffner Syndrome | Symptoms and Causes

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

Contact the Department of Neurology

What are the symptoms of Landau-Kleffner syndrome?

Common symptoms of Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) include:

  • sudden or gradual loss of language skills, usually in children between ages 3 and 7
  • seizures, which may be mild or occur during sleep

In rare cases, children with LKS may also have behavioral problems, including outbursts of temper, hyperactivity or acting withdrawn.

Sometimes these symptoms might begin after a seizure, an illness (like chicken pox) or a trauma, such as a fall.

How do I know it isn't autism?

Children with autism typically start having symptoms between 18 and 24 months of age, which is earlier than children with LKS, who don’t usually develop symptoms until ages 3 to 7.

Also, children with LKS tend to have good eye contact and try to engage with people and their surroundings. In contrast, children with autism usually have poor eye contact and do not seem involved when interacting with other people.

What are the causes of Landau-Kleffner syndrome?

Experts do not know the cause of Landau-Kleffner syndrome. However, a number of candidate genes have been implicated, especially one involving glutamate metabolism known as GRIN2A. This is currently an area of active investigation.

Make an appointment

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337