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    Williams Syndrome

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Williams 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.

    Synonyms

    • Beuren Syndrome
    • Early Hypercalcemia Syndrome with Elfin Facies
    • Elfin Facies with Hypercalcemia
    • Hypercalcemia-Supravalvar Aortic Stenosis
    • WBS
    • Williams-Beuren Syndrome
    • WMS

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Williams syndrome, also known as Williams-Beuren syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder characterized by growth delays before and after birth (prenatal and postnatal growth retardation), short stature, a varying degree of mental deficiency, and distinctive facial features that typically become more pronounced with age. Such characteristic facial features may include a round face, full cheeks, thick lips, a large mouth that is usually held open, and a broad nasal bridge with nostrils that flare forward (anteverted nares). Affected individuals may also have unusually short eyelid folds (palpebral fissures), flared eyebrows, a small lower jaw (mandible), and prominent ears. Dental abnormalities may also occur including abnormally small, underdeveloped teeth (hypodontia) with small, slender roots.

    Williams syndrome may also be associated with heart (cardiac) defects, abnormally increased levels of calcium in the blood during infancy (infantile hypercalcemia), musculoskeletal defects, and/or other abnormalities. Cardiac defects may include obstruction of proper blood flow from the lower right chamber (ventricle) of the heart to the lungs (pulmonary stenosis) or abnormal narrowing above the valve in the heart between the left ventricle and the main artery of the body (supravalvular aortic stenosis). Musculoskeletal abnormalities associated with Williams syndrome may include depression of the breastbone (pectus excavatum), abnormal side-to-side or front-to-back curvature of the spine (scoliosis or kyphosis), or an awkward gait. In addition, most affected individuals have mild to moderate mental retardation; poor visual-motor integration skills; a friendly, outgoing, talkative manner of speech; a short attention span; and are easily distracted.

    In most individuals with Williams syndrome, the disorder appears to occur spontaneously for unknown reasons (sporadically). However, familial cases have also been reported. Sporadic and familial cases are thought to result from deletion of genetic material from adjacent genes (contiguous genes) within a specific region of chromosome 7 (7q11.23).

    Resources

    Williams Syndrome Association
    570 Kirts Boulevard
    Suite 223
    Troy, MI 48084-4156
    Tel: (248)244-2229
    Fax: (248)244-2230
    Tel: (800)806-1871
    Email: info@williams-syndrome.org
    Internet: http://www.williams-syndrome.org

    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
    Email: info@thearc.org
    Internet: http://www.thearc.org

    Williams Syndrome Foundation
    161 High Street
    Tonbridge, TN9 1BX
    United Kingdom
    Tel: 01732365152
    Fax: 01732360178
    Email: enquiries@williams-syndrome.org.uk
    Internet: http://www.williams-syndrome.org.uk

    Coalition for Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue (CHDCT)
    4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 404
    Washington, DC 20008
    Tel: (202)362-9599
    Fax: (202)966-8553
    Tel: (800)778-7171
    Email: chdct@pxe.org
    Internet: http://www.chdct2.org/

    Canadian Association for Williams Syndrome
    P.O. Box 26206
    Richmond
    British Columbia, V6Y 3V3
    Canada
    Tel: 6042140132
    Email: cawsbc@yahoo.com
    Internet: http://www.caws-can.org

    NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    31 Center Dr
    Building 31, Room 2A32
    MSC2425
    Bethesda, MD 20892
    Fax: (866)760-5947
    Tel: (800)370-2943
    TDD: (888)320-6942
    Email: NICHDInformationResourceCenter@mail.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/

    New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.
    811 East Wisconsin Ave
    P.O. Box 510034
    Milwaukee, WI 53203
    USA
    Tel: (414)299-0124
    Fax: (414)347-1977
    Email: horizons@new-horizons.org
    Internet: http://www.new-horizons.org

    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
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    Tel: (310)264-0826
    Fax: (310)264-4766
    Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

    Williams Syndrome Family of Hope
    PO Box 2144
    Tifton, GA 31793
    Tel: (229)256-9545
    Email: info@wsfamilyofhope.org
    Internet: http://www.wsfamilyofhope.org

    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 www.rarediseases.org 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 www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 5/1/2008
    Copyright 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    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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