What is Angelman syndrome?
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a rare neurogenetic disorder that affects approximately one in 15,000 people – about 500,000 individuals worldwide. Children and adults with AS typically have impaired motor and balance, and debilitating seizures. Some individuals never walk. The majority do not speak. Disrupted sleep cycles also can be a serious challenge to the individual and caregivers. Individuals with AS require continuous care and are unable to live independently. They have a normal life expectancy. People with Angelman syndrome have some distinct behavioural traits, including a happy demeanour, characterised by frequent laughing, smiling and excitability. Many individuals with AS have a fascination with water and take great pleasure in activities like swimming.