Epilepsy in Angelman Syndrome.

A syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that, added together, suggest a particular medical condition. In epilepsy, examples of these signs and symptoms would be things like the age at which seizures begin, the type of seizures, whether the child is male or female and whether they experience difficulties with learning.

If a child is diagnosed with a particular syndrome, it allows doctors to provide more information about what is most likely to happen to them in future years, not only from the point of view of the epilepsy but also in relation to other features such as learning skills.

Epilepsy in Angelman Syndrome  usually starts between 18 months and two years of age and may initially happen with high temperatures (febrile convulsions). However, most of the seizures happen without a fever. Eventually seizures will happen in seven or eight out of every 10 children who have Angelman syndrome.

The types of seizures include myoclonic (“jerks”), atonic or astatic (“drops”) and tonic (“stiffening”) seizures. Generalised tonic-clonic seizures are less common. Children may also have very prolonged periods of absences that last many minutes or even hours and this is called ‘non-convulsive status epilepticus’.

Epilepsy Ireland’s  comprehensive website provides  links to Information leaflets first produced by the Joint Epilepsy Council (JEC) which explain the most common Epilepsy Syndromes. The material we show is  taken from their web site with their kind permission www.epilepsy.ie and you can also obtain further information on support groups in your area at  http://support.epilepsy.ie/.