European Journal of Human Genetics vol:17 issue:11 pages:1367-1373
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a distinct neurogenetic syndrome, first described in 1965. The phenotype is well known in infancy and adulthood, but the clinical features may change with age. The main clinical characteristics include severe mental retardation, epileptic seizures and EEG abnormalilties, neurological problems and distinct facial dysmorphic features. Behavioural problems such as hyperactivity and sleeping problems are reported, although these patients present mostly a happy personality with periods of inappropriate laughter. Different underlying genetic mechanisms may cause AS, with deletion of chromosome 15 as the most frequent cause. Other genetic mechanisms such as paternal uniparental disomy, imprinting defect and mutation in the UBE3A gene are present in smaller groups of patients with AS. As the recurrence risk can be up to 50%, the clinical diagnosis of AS should be confirmed by laboratory tesing, and genetic counselling should be provided. Treatment of seizures, physical therapy or other intervention strategies are helpful to ameliorate the symptoms.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 20 May 2009; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.67.