Treatment & Care

Some of the symptoms of Angelman syndrome can be difficult to manage, and you're likely to need help from a wide range of different healthcare professionals.

Angelman Syndrome

Managing Angelman Syndrome

Some of the symptoms of Angelman syndrome can be difficult to manage, and you're likely to need help from a wide range of different healthcare professionals.

 

Your child may benefit from some of the following treatments and aids:

  • Anti-epileptic medicine to control the seizures – sodium valproate and clonazepam are some of the most commonly prescribed medicines and ketogenic diets have also been used.
  • Physiotherapy may help to improve posture, balance and walking ability; it's also important to prevent permanent stiffening (contractures) of the joints as people with Angelman syndrome get older.
  • A back brace or spinal surgery may be recommended to prevent the spine from becoming more curved.
  • An ankle or foot orthosis (lower leg brace) may be recommended to help with walking independently.
  • Communication therapy may be needed to help them develop non-verbal language skills, such as sign language and using visual aids; using iPad applications and similar tablet devices may also help.
  • Behavioural therapy may be recommended to help overcome problem behaviours, hyperactivity and a short attention span.
  • Activities such as swimming, horseriding and music therapy have also been reported as being beneficial.

While there's currently no cure for Angelman syndrome, the results of preliminary genetic research have been promising. Following these studies, scientists believe it may be possible to restore UBE3A function in the brains of people with Angelman syndrome at some stage in the future.

 

There are also clinical trials looking at treatment for some of the symptoms associated with Angelman syndrome, such as treatments for seizures.

 

With age, people with Angelman syndrome become less hyperactive and the sleeping problems tend to improve. Most people with the syndrome will have intellectual disability and limited speech throughout their life.

 

In later childhood, the seizures usually improve, although they may return in adulthood. In adults, some mobility may be lost and joints may stiffen up. People with Angelman syndrome usually have good general health, are often able to improve their communication and acquire new skills throughout their lives.