FAQs About Angelman Syndrome

Emily Malcolm, PhD avatar

by Emily Malcolm, PhD |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Angelman Syndrome FAQs

A diagnosis of Angelman syndrome can be challenging for patients and their families, with information about this rare disease sometimes difficult to find. Many parents and caregivers may find it helpful to connect with other families and advocacy groups.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Angelman syndrome.

What is Angelman syndrome?

Angelman syndrome is a rare disease caused by a genetic mutation or chromosomal alteration that results in the loss of an important gene in the brain.

Read more about Angelman syndrome on our pages: “What is Angelman Syndrome?” and “Causes.”

How do I know if my child has Angelman syndrome?

The earliest symptoms of Angelman syndrome are delayed development at around six to 12 months. Most patients are diagnosed by age 6. The most common symptom across patient populations is a smaller-than-normal head circumference (also called microcephaly).

Read more on our website about “Symptoms” and “Diagnosis” of Angelman syndrome.

How prevalent is Angelman syndrome?

Angleman syndrome is rare, and diagnosed in about 1 in 12,000 to 20,000 children.

Is Angelman syndrome contagious?

Angelman syndrome is not contagious, and cannot be passed from child to child.

Can Angelman syndrome be inherited?

In rare cases, Angelman syndrome can be inherited, but the vast majority of cases is not inherited.

Where can I find more about treatments and research?

We regularly publish articles on our website that cover a range of relevant news for patients and caregivers of those with Angelman syndrome, including ongoing research and potential treatments in development. In addition, the challenges of day-to-day life are chronicled in “Raising an Angel,” a column by Mary Kay who has a daughter with Angelman syndrome.

The following organizations also offer information about treatment options and ongoing research:


Last updated: July 26, 2019


Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.