Author: Brian Wu PhD. MD Candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA; Chief Editor: Hon A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, February 2016.
Angelman syndrome is a rare neurological disorder which occurs in 1 out of every 15,000 births and in the past, was mistaken for other disorders like cerebral palsy or autism. It is marked by a complex array of symptoms.
It was named for Dr. Harry Angelman, who first described the disorder in 1965.
Angelman syndrome is rare:
Angelman syndrome is genetic in origin. Genetic changes can be random, that is, without a family history of the disorder.
*Image courtesy Genetics 4 Medics
Cutaneous features of Angelman syndrome include:
Noncutaneous features of Angelman syndrome include seizures, developmental delays, limited or lack of speech, mobility disorders, increase in smiling, a happy, excitable personality, hand flapping, abnormal sleep cycles and microcephaly.
There is no cure for Angelman syndrome. Lifelong care is needed and treatment focuses on managing symptoms. It can include:
Despite the many limitations, the life expectancy of patients with Angelman syndrome is normal. Often, patients will become less excitable as they age and they outgrow sleep cycle abnormalities.
See the DermNet NZ bookstore.
© 2019 DermNet New Zealand Trust.
DermNet NZ does not provide an online consultation service. If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.