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History of Neurology: Seminal Citations |

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

Joshua Rotenberg, MD; Phillip L. Pearl, MD
Arch Neurol. 2003;60(7):1019-1021. doi:10.1001/archneur.60.7.1019.
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The description of Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) has profoundly influenced not only clinical practice but also cognitive neuroscience. At the time of their interdisciplinary collaboration, Landau and Kleffner (Figure 1 and Figure 2) could not have known the significance of their description of this rare disorder of communication. Landau has lamented and satirized the achievement of "status eponymicus,"2 given the enduring lack of rigorous data associated with the comingling of acquired aphasia and epilepsy. The central characteristics of LKS have not been significantly modified since the initial descriptions in 1957.1 Variations on the theme and enlargement of the spectrum have been prominent as the syndrome has become widely publicized and, to some extent, popularized. The first descriptions and other landmark articles on LKS can help the consultant to understand this syndrome in the context of other developmental disorders. Although the Seminal Citations series generally deals with clinical topics that were described by earlier, now deceased, generations of clinical neurologists, both Landau and Kleffner are alive and have reviewed this article and participated in the selection of the quotations.

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Figure 1.

William M. Landau, MD.

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Figure 2.

Frank R. Kleffner, PhD.

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