ANGELMAN SYNDROME

What is Angelman Syndrome?

In 1965, English physician Harry Angelman noted that three children in his practice suffered from a stiff, jerky gait, did not speak, laughed excessively and had recurring seizures.  These characteristics came to be associated with Angelman syndrome.

Angelman syndrome is a neuro-genetic disorder that occurs on chromosome 15.  The syndrome is often unrecognized at birth.  However, it is usually diagnosed between two and five years of age when characteristic features and behaviors begin to become evident in a child.  Angelman syndrome is often misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy and autism and occurs in one in every 15,000 live births.  Those diagnosed with Angelman syndrome will require life-long care.

The characteristics of Angelman syndrome are as follows:

·         Developmental delay

·         Difficulties with movement and/or balance

·         Frequent bouts of laughter and/or excessive smiling; an apparent happy demeanor

·         Easily excited personality (often associated with hand-flapping or waving movements)

·         Lack of speech or minimal use of words

·         Disproportionate growth in head circumference

·       Reoccurring seizures.  The seizures usually began at less than three years of age.  The seizures usually decrease in frequency as the child gets older.

·         Abnormal EEG which can usually be detected within the child’s first two years

How Gallivan & Gallivan Can Help

Diagnosing Angelman syndrome is difficult.  At Gallivan & Gallivan, we can help to determine if malpractice or birth injury caused you child to suffer from Angelman syndrome.  We will:

·         Attempt to identify the cause of your child’s birth injury.

·         Investigate your child’s medical history.  We will look at all of your child’s medical records involving pregnancy, delivery and labor, and after-care.

·         Speak to a pediatric neurologist about your child’s medical condition.

·         Try to find out the cause of your child’s birth injury and medical condition.

If Gallivan & Gallivan discovers that your child’s injury or condition could have been prevented or has been misdiagnosed, we will actively attempt to recover compensation for you and your child.

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