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Symptoms of Angelman Syndrome

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 7/31/2009

This article focuses on the symptoms of Angelman Syndrome. It also defines this syndrome and briefly discusses its treatment.

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    Angelman syndrome is defined as a genetic disorder that causes neurological problems and developmental delays. Infants with this disorder often appear normal at birth, but after their first two to three months of life they begin to have feeding problems. After six to twelve months of life they often begin to have developmental delays that are very noticeable. Once a child with Angelman syndrome becomes two to three years old they often begin to experience seizures and a pronounced speech impairment where they use very little to no words. Those with Angelman syndrome often have a small head size, experience problems with balance and movement, are hyperactive and experience sleeping disorders. Angelman syndrome is an inherited disorder that is inherited by a mother who does not have a functional copy of the UBE3A gene.

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    Is There Any Treatment for Angelman Syndrome?

    Currently, there is no treatment for Angelman syndrome. However, the symptoms and complications that are caused by this disorder can often be managed. Those who experience seizures can often mange their seizures with anti-seizure medications. Behavioral therapy can be prescribed to help children manage their hyperactivity and sleeping problems. As a child gets older, medications may be prescribed to help them with their hyperactivity and sleeping problems if behavioral therapy is not enough. Children who experience speech impairments can often manage them with communication therapy. Occupational and physical therapy can help children with difficulty walking and performing other daily tasks. The treatment methods available to help manage Angelman syndrome are often effective in helping children reach their maximum potential of development.

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    What is the Prognosis for Children with Angelman Syndrome?

    Many children with Angelman syndrome tend to have a normal life span. The sooner the diagnosis the better their chance of a better quality of life. Regardless of medical intervention and time of diagnosis, all children with Angelman syndrome will experience speech limitations, developmental delays and motor difficulties to some degree. All children will experience different degrees of these difficulties and it is hard to know exactly how they will affect them in the future. There is a lot of research being conducted to try and find new treatments and management techniques for Angelman syndrome.

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    Resources

    NINDS. (2007). Angelman Syndrome Information. Retrieved on July 27, 2009 from Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/angelman/angelman.htm