Angelman syndrome causes developmental delay and neurological problems and is a genetic disorder. Infants born with this syndrome appear normal at birth but exhibit feeding problems in the first months of life. They also show noticeable developmental delays by 6 to 12 months.
There is no specific therapy for Angelman syndrome. Medical therapy for seizures is usually necessary. Physical and occupational therapies, communication therapy, and behavioral therapies are important in allowing individuals with Angelman syndrome to reach their maximum developmental potential.
The disorder is typically diagnosed at 6 to 12 months, when parents begin to notice developmental days such as a lack of crawling or babbling. Seizures may begin at 2 to 3 years. A doctor may suspect the disorder in children who have some of these symptoms in addition to others, such as difficulty with movement and balance, a small head size with flatness in the back and frequent laughter.
Most individuals with Angelman syndrome will have severe developmental delays, speech limitations, and motor difficulties. However, individuals with Angelman syndrome can have normal life spans and generally do not show developmental regression as they age. Early diagnosis and tailored interventions and therapies help improve quality of life.
Researchers have studied children with Angelman syndrome to determine the highest dose of a new drug that can be given without causing serious side effects. It's thought that this drug can help control some of the neurological and movement difficulties associated with the disorder, such as tremors.
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