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Angelman Syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures, intellectual disability, characteristic behavior, and movement disorders. Clinical gait analysis provides the opportunity for movement quantification to investigate an observed maladaptive change in gait pattern and offers an objective outcome of change. Pressure-sensor-based technology, inertial and activity monitoring, and instrumented gait analysis (IGA) were employed to define motor abnormalities in Angelman syndrome. Temporal-spatial gait parameters of persons with Angelman Syndrome (pwAS) show deficiencies in gait performance through walking speed, step length, step width, and walk ratio. pwAS walk with reduced step lengths, increased step width, and greater variability. Three-dimensional motion kinematics showed increased anterior pelvic tilt, hip flexion, and knee flexion. PwAS have a walk ratio more than two standard deviations below controls. Dynamic electromyography showed prolonged activation of knee extensors, which was associated with a decreased range of motion and the presence of hip flexion contractures. Use of multiple gait tracking modalities revealed that pwAS exhibit a change in gait pattern to a flexed knee gait pattern.  Cross-sectional studies of individuals with AS show a regression toward this maladaptive gait pattern over development in pwAS ages 4-11. PwAS unexpectedly did not have spasticity associated with change in gait pattern. Multiple quantitative measures of motor patterning may offer early biomarkers of gait decline consistent with critical periods of intervention, insight into appropriate management strategies, objective primary outcomes, and early indicators of adverse events.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Med Genet A

Publication Date



Angelman syndrome, gait, genetics, movement disorders, muscle spasticity, neurodevelopmental disabilities, outcome measures