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Children's Health

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Angelman Syndrome

It is possible that the main title of the report Angelman Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • AS
  • happy puppet syndrome (obsolete)

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Angelman syndrome is a rare genetic and neurological disorder characterized by severe developmental delays and learning disabilities; absence or near absence of speech; inability to coordinate voluntary movements (ataxia); tremulousness with jerky movements of the arms and legs and a distinct behavioral pattern characterized by a happy disposition and unprovoked episodes of laughter and smiling. Although those with the syndrome may be unable to speak, many gradually learn to communicate through other means such as gesturing. In addition, children may have enough receptive language ability to understand simple forms of language communication. Additional symptoms may occur including seizures, sleep disorders and feeding difficulties. Some children with Angelman syndrome may have distinctive facial features but most facial features reflect the normal parental traits. Angelman syndrome is caused by deletion or abnormal expression of the UBE3A gene.

Angelman syndrome was first described in the medical literature in 1965 by Dr. Harry Angelman, an English physician. The characteristic findings of Angelman syndrome are not usually apparent at birth and diagnosis of the disorder is usually made between 1 and 4 years of age.


March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Tel: (888)663-4637

The Arc
1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)534-3700
Fax: (202)534-3731
Tel: (800)433-5255
TDD: (817)277-0553

Angelman Syndrome Foundation, Inc.
4255 Westbrook Drive
Suite 219
Aurora, IL 60504
Tel: (630)978-4245
Fax: (630)978-7408
Tel: (800)432-6435

Epilepsy Foundation
8301 Professional Place
Landover, MD 20785-7223
Tel: (866)330-2718
Fax: (877)687-4878
Tel: (800)332-1000
TDD: (800)332-2070

Angelman Syndrome Support Education and Research Trust
PO Box 4962
Nuneaton, CV11 9FD
United Kingdom
Tel: 03009990102

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
TDD: (301)468-5981

Canadian Angelman Syndrome Society
P.O. Box 37
Alberta, T0L 1W0
Tel: 4039312415
Fax: 4039312415

NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
31 Center Dr
Building 31, Room 2A32
Bethesda, MD 20892
Fax: (866)760-5947
Tel: (800)370-2943
TDD: (888)320-6942

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766

Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST)
P.O. Box 608
Downers Grove, IL 60515-0608
Tel: (630)852-3278
Fax: (630)852-3270
Tel: (866)783-0078

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 7/9/2012
Copyright 1987, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: 8/, 015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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