Controlling Seizures in Angelman Syndrome

Controlling Seizures in Angelman Syndrome
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Angelman syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by neurological and developmental problems, among other symptoms. More than 90% of patients experience epileptic seizures, which can be dangerous.

However, several methods can help control seizures in patients with Angelman syndrome.

Medications

Many common anti-seizure medications can effectively treat seizures associated with Angelman syndrome. These include levetiracetam, lamotrigine, and clobazam. Valproate, clonazepamphenobarbital, and topiramate may also be used but may have more side effects.

Some medications are ineffective and may even exacerbate seizures. These medications, which should not be used for Angelman syndrome patients, are carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, and vigabatrin.

Ketogenic diet

ketogenic diet — high in fat and low in carbohydrates — is sometimes effective at controlling or reducing the number of seizures, especially in children who do not respond to medication. Before starting any diet, talk to both a registered dietitian and your treatment team to establish the best diet for your child.

Vagus nerve stimulation

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a procedure where a small device applies an electrical stimulus to the vagus nerve to try and halt seizures before they happen. VNS may be effective for patients with Angelman syndrome, especially in addition to anti-seizure medications. The surgery involves implanting a device similar in size to a pacemaker. The device sends regular electrical signals to the vagus nerve in the neck to disrupt seizure activity in the brain.

Gene therapy

Although still experimental, researchers think that gene therapy for Angelman syndrome may be able to reduce seizure activity. In this approach, the idea is to introduce a healthy copy of the mutant gene that causes Angelman syndrome into patients’ cells. Supplying the healthy UBE3A gene is thought to potentially reduce or even abolish the symptoms, including seizures.

 

Last updated: June 25, 2020

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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. 

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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