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Seizure. 2008 Apr;17(3):211-7. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

Epilepsy in Angelman syndrome.

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Department of Neurology, Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.


Angelman syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder caused by lack of UBE3A gene expression from the maternally inherited chromosome 15 due to various 15q11-q13 abnormalities. In addition to severe developmental delay, virtual absence of speech, motor impairment, a behavioural phenotype that includes happy demeanor, and distinctive rhythmic electroencephalographic features, over 90% of patients have epilepsy. Many different seizure types may occur, atypical absences and myoclonic seizures being particularly prevalent. Non-convulsive status epilepticus is common, sometimes in the context of the epileptic syndrome referred to as myoclonic status in non-progressive encephalopathies. Epilepsy predominates in childhood, but may persist or reappear in adulthood. Management is difficult in a proportion of patients. It might be improved by better understanding of pathophysiology. Current hypotheses involve abnormal inhibitory transmission due to impaired regulation of GABAA receptors related to functional absence of UBE3A and abnormal hippocampal CaMKII activity.

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