Incontinence in persons with Angelman syndrome

C. Wagner*, J. Niemczyk, M. Equit, L. Curfs, A. von Gontard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Angelman syndrome (AS) is a congenital syndrome with a prevalence of 1:15,000. Individuals with AS often have severe intellectual disability, typical dysmorphic signs, and behavioral problems. The aim of the study was to investigate the rate of incontinence and associated psychological problems in children and adults with AS. Ninety children (4-18 years) and 54 adults (18-31 years) with AS were recruited through a parent support group (55.6% male, mean age 15.1 years). The Parental Questionnaire: Enuresis/Urinary Incontinence, the Incontinence Questionnaire-Pediatric Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (ICIQ-CLUTS), as well as the Developmental Behaviour Checklist for parents (DBC-P) or for adults (DBC-A) were filled out by parents or caregivers. 85.6% of individuals with AS were affected by at least one subtype of incontinence (82.7% nocturnal enuresis (NE), 64.7% daytime urinary incontinence (DUI), and 57.1% fecal incontinence (FI)). 52.5% of the children and 32.6% of adults reached a clinically relevant DBC score. Incontinence was not associated with behavioral problems. NE and DUI were associated with genotype and epilepsy.

Conclusion: Children with AS have high rates of incontinence. Many adults are still affected by NE, DUI, or even FI. Screening, assessment, and treatment of incontinence in individuals with AS are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Angelman syndrome
  • Nocturnal enuresis
  • Daytime urinary incontinence
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Behavior
  • Developmental Behaviour Checklist

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