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Association between gastro-intestinal symptoms & co-morbidities in children with Angelman Syndrome

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Lay Summary

People with Angelman Syndrome tend to have a very happy disposition. However, they also tend to have severe intellectual disability, difficulty with language, and movement, sleep problems, epilepsy, and frequent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

This study provides useful information to parents and professionals about how the GI symptoms that are experienced in early childhood years relate to developmental factors as children and adolescents with Angelman Syndrome get older. This issue was examined using data from 173 children and adolescents, whose parents had completed online questionnaires for the Global Angelman Syndrome Registry.

The study found that 84% of children and adolescents experienced constipation and 64% had gastroesophageal reflux. Children and adolescents who had frequent GI symptoms were more likely in infancy to refuse to nurse, vomit, and have difficulty gaining weight in infancy. They were also more likely to experience sweating and urinary incontinence at night. However, those with GI symptoms were not more likely to have sleep, toileting, or language problems, or exhibit problematic behaviours. Further research is now needed to examine the factors that are related to GI symptoms in adults who have Angelman Syndrome.

Full Citation: Leader, G., Whelan, S., Chonaill, N. N., Coyne, R., Tones, M., Heussler, H., Bellgard, M., & Mannion, A. (2022). Association between early and current gastro-intestinal symptoms and co-morbidities in children and adolescents with Angelman syndrome. J Intellect Disabil Res, 66, 15. Link to article

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