Quality of Life in Angelman Syndrome: A Caregivers' Survey.

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BACKGROUND: Angelman syndrome (AS) is a genetic disorder, characterized by a cheerful disposition with bouts of laughter, developmental delay, speech impairment, ataxia, and seizures. Previous AS surveys have focused on the natural history, describing seizure types and response to anti-seizure medications.

METHODS: A web-based survey was distributed to caregivers of individuals with AS to characterize motor function, cannabidiol (CBD) use, and factors affecting quality of life (QOL).

RESULTS: Of a total of 183 individuals with AS (mean age 19.4 ± 13.4 years; 48.1% female), 72% had sleep problems, 80% had seizures, and 32% had one or more emergency department visits in the previous year. Eighty-eight percent were ambulatory (with or without assistance), and half experienced falls, 10.4% resulting in serious injury. Caregivers reported physical therapy, antiseizure medication, CBD, and clonidine as helpful. Inability to walk, falls/drops, sleep problems, and seizures significantly affected QOL (P < 0.002,

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that seizures are the tip of the iceberg. Use of a brief, valid screening tool can assist providers with identifying and addressing issues of primary concern to caregivers of individuals with AS.

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Pediatric neurology



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