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Williams syndrome

Related Terms

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Background

  • Williams syndrome, also called Williams-Beuren syndrome, is a genetic disorder that typically causes mild to moderate intellectual or learning disabilities, distinctive facial features, and unique personality characteristics that include overfriendliness, anxiety, and high levels of empathy. Infants with Williams syndrome often have high levels of calcium in their blood (called hypercalcemia).
  • The most significant medical problem associated with Williams syndrome is a form of heart disease called supravalvar aortic stenosis (SVAS), in which the main blood vessel of the heart (the aorta) is too narrow.
  • Researchers estimate that one out of 7,500 to 20,000 people is born with Williams syndrome worldwide.
  • The prognosis for patients with Williams syndrome varies depending on the severity of the person's intellectual disabilities and heart problems. With early diagnosis and prompt therapy, some patients are able to live independently once they become adults, while others may need lifelong support. There are many ways for patients to cope with their disabilities. Special education and occupational therapy has been shown to improve patients' work and school performance.

Risk Factors

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Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.