Angelman syndrome: Correlations between epilepsy phenotypes and genotypes

Berge A. Minassian, Timothy M. DeLorey, Richard W. Olsen, Michel Philippart, Yuri Bronstein, Quanwei Zhang, Renzo Guerrini, Paul Van Ness, Marie O. Livet, Antonio V. Delgado-Escueta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


We compared epilepsy phenotypes with genotypes of Angelman syndrome (AS), including chromosome 15q11-13 deletions (class I), uniparental disomy (class II), methylation imprinting abnormalities (class III), and mutation in the UBE3A gene (class IV). Twenty patients were prospectively selected based on clinical cytogenetic and molecular diagnosis of AS. All patients had 6 to 72 hours of closed-circuit television videotaping and digitized electroencephalographic (EEG) telemetry. Patients from all genotypic classes had characteristic EEGs with diffuse bifrontally dominant high-amplitude 1- to 3-Hz notched or triphasic or polyphasic slow waves, or slow and sharp waves. Class I patients had severe intractable epilepsy, most frequently with atypical absences and myoclonias and less frequently with generalized extensor tonic seizures or flexor spasms. Epileptic spasms were recorded in AS patients as old as 41 years. Aged-matched class II, III, and IV patients had either no epilepsy or drug-responsive mild epilepsy with relatively infrequent atypical absences, myoclonias, or atonic seizures. In conclusion, maternally inherited chromosome 15q11-13 deletions produce severe epilepsy. Loss-of-function UBE3A mutations, uniparental disomy, or methylation imprint abnormalities in AS are associated with relatively mild epilepsy. Involvement of other genes in the chromosome 15q11-13 deletion, such as GABRB3, may explain severe epilepsy in AS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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