Williams syndrome

Alternative Names

Williams-Beuren syndrome

Definition of Williams syndrome

Williams syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that can lead to problems with development.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Williams syndrome is a rare condition caused by missing genes. Parents may not have any family history of the condition. However, a person with Williams syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to each of his or her children. The cause usually occurs randomly.

Signs and tests

Signs include:

Treatment

There is no cure for Williams syndrome. Avoid taking extra calcium and vitamin D. Treat high levels of blood calcium, if present. Blood vessel narrowing can be a significant health problem and is treated based on its severity.

Expectations (prognosis)

About 75% of those with Williams syndrome have some mental retardation.

Review

Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Departments of Anatomy and Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/14/2009

Low nasal bridge

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.