Physiotherapy — also called physical therapy or kinesiology — is a type of movement therapy that aims to help patients improve strength, ability, and range of motion. For people with Angelman syndrome, physiotherapy can help them learn to compensate for difficulty walking.

What is Angelman syndrome?

Angelman syndrome is a rare neurological disorder caused by genetic mutations. The disease results in delayed development, both physical and mental, which can be apparent from the first few months of a patient’s life. Children generally have coordination issues, difficulty walking, and seizures. Some people also have scoliosis, or an abnormal spinal curvature caused by muscle weakness surrounding the spine.

Angelman syndrome has no cure, but treatments are available to improve patients’ quality of life.

What is physiotherapy?

A physiotherapist works with people with Angelman to design a safe exercise program that improves strength, range of motion, and coordination. Physiotherapists may supervise patients while they exercise, or train the individuals’ caregivers to do so.

Physiotherapy in Angelman syndrome

For people with Angelman syndrome, physiotherapy may be able to improve coordination during walking, and grasping objects. That can help patients become more mobile, and gain the ability to more easily perform simple tasks like dressing or feeding themselves.

Physiotherapists may work with patients on improving balance, posture, and core strength. Regular exercise is recommended for people with Angelman syndrome, though the type of exercise that may be best for an individual patient should be discussed with the healthcare team.

Orthotic braces, which can help stabilize children while walking, may be prescribed by patients’ physiotherapists. Some children’s scoliosis may be manageable with exercise and braces, while others may require surgery to fuse the spine and prevent abnormal curvature.

Physiotherapists may work as a team with occupational and speech therapists. This allows them to coordinate a therapy treatment plan that ensures patients receive the care they need.

 

Last updated: September 4, 2019

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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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