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J Neurodev Disord. 2009 Mar;1(1):4-14. doi: 10.1007/s11689-009-9003-1.

Anxiety disorders in children with williams syndrome, their mothers, and their siblings: implications for the etiology of anxiety disorders.

Author information

  • 1Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville (now at Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University).

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the prevalence of anxiety disorders in children with Williams syndrome (WS), their sibling closest in age, and their mothers and to examine the predictors of anxiety in these groups.

METHODS:

The prevalence of anxiety disorders was assessed and compared to that in the general population.

RESULTS:

Children with WS had a significantly higher prevalence of specific phobia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and separation anxiety in comparison to children in the general population. While mothers had a higher prevalence of GAD than population controls, the excess was accounted for by mothers who had onset after the birth of their WS child. The siblings had rates similar to the general population.

CONCLUSIONS:

This pattern of findings suggests the presence of a gene in the WS region whose deletion predisposes to anxiety disorders. It is also worthwhile to investigate relations between genes deleted in WS and genes previously implicated in anxiety disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Family; Genetics; Intellectual disability; Mental retardation; Williams syndrome

PMID:
20161441
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2790165
Free PMC Article
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