Prenatal Treatment Path for Angelman Syndrome and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Autism Research : Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Mark J Zylka

Abstract

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutation or deletion of the maternally inherited UBE3A allele. These pathogenic mutations lead to loss of maternal UBE3A expression in neurons. Antisense oligonucleotides and gene therapies are in development, which activate the intact but epigenetically silenced paternal UBE3A allele. Preclinical studies indicate that treating during the prenatal period could greatly reduce the severity of symptoms or prevent AS from developing. Genetic tests can detect the chromosome 15q11-q13 deletion that is the most common cause of AS. New, highly sensitive noninvasive prenatal tests that take advantage of single-cell genome sequencing technologies are expected to enter the clinic in the coming years and make early genetic diagnosis of AS more common. Efforts are needed to identify fetuses and newborns with maternal 15q11-q13 deletions and to phenotype these babies relative to neurotypical controls. Clinical and parent observations suggest AS symptoms are detectable in infants, including reports of problems with feeding and motor function. Quantitative phenotypes in the 0- to 1-year age range will permit a more rapid assessment of efficacy when future treatments are adm...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Autistic Disorder
Birth
Fetus
Gene Deletion
Gene Therapy
Genome
Neurons
Prenatal Care
Research
Oligonucleotides, Antisense

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