Anxiety and Challenging Behaviors in Angelman Syndrome
Dr. Christopher Keary presented a study on anxiety, hyperactivity, and irritability in individuals with Angelman Syndrome. The study found that anxiety was a common concern, with behaviors such as aggression, fearfulness, and crying being reported. Hyperactivity was also prevalent, but seemed to decrease with age. Irritability, or problems with anger management, was less common but still present. Treatment approaches included behavioral therapy, communication strategies, and medication. The study highlighted the need for standardized assessment tools and further research on treatment options.
In this talk, we will discuss the topic of anxiety and challenging behaviors in individuals with Angelman Syndrome. We will present the findings of a two-year study conducted on this subject and propose different domains of assessment and treatment approaches. It is important to understand and address these behaviors in order to improve the quality of life for individuals with Angelman Syndrome.
Study Design and Findings
The study recruited individuals with Angelman Syndrome of different ages and molecular inheritance types. The study assessed a wide variety of behaviors and used standardized assessment tools to measure anxiety. The findings showed that anxiety was a common concern among participants, with behaviors such as aggression, fearfulness, and self-injury being reported. The study also found that separation and crowds were common triggers for anxiety in individuals with Angelman Syndrome.
Assessment and Treatment Approaches
The talk proposes three domains of assessment: anxiety, hyperactivity, and irritability. It suggests using standardized assessment tools specific to Angelman Syndrome to better understand and measure these behaviors. Non-medication treatments such as behavioral therapy, communication strategies, and occupational therapy are recommended as the first line of treatment. Medication treatments, such as buspirone for anxiety and guanfacine for hyperactivity, are also discussed as options if non-medication treatments are not effective.
Anxiety and challenging behaviors are common in individuals with Angelman Syndrome. It is important to assess and address these behaviors in order to improve the overall well-being of individuals with Angelman Syndrome. Non-medication treatments, such as behavioral therapy and communication strategies, should be the first line of treatment. Medication treatments can be considered if non-medication treatments are not effective. Further research is needed to better understand and develop effective treatments for anxiety and challenging behaviors in Angelman Syndrome.
- Title: Anxiety and Challenging Behaviors in Angelman Syndrome
- Author(s): Christopher Keary, Anne Wheeler, Anjali Sadhwani, Cesar Ochoa-Lubinoff
- Author(s)’ affiliation: Massachusetts General Hospital; RTI International; Boston Children’s Hospital; Rush University Medical Center
- Publication date: 2019-09-05
- Collection: 2019 ASF Family Conference