What is Angelman Syndrome? Colin Farrell’s son diagnosed with rare disorder

Colin Farrell on the red carpet
Colin Farrell has been open about his son’s battle with Angelman Syndrome. Pic credit: ©Imagecollect.com/Admedia

Actor Colin Farrell and his ex-partner Kim Bordenave have been quite open about the condition that has afflicted their son, James Farrell, who has been diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome.

News emerged this week that Colin and Kim have filed for conservatorship of their son as he approaches his 18th birthday in September.

This is a legal arrangement that will allow the Tigerland actor and his model ex-partner to become co-conservators of James’s affairs, allowing them control of his personal needs, including medical and financial decisions.

This usually occurs when an individual is unable to adequately care for themselves.

The news has left many questioning what Angelman Syndrome is? It’s certainly a rare disorder that is not well-known by the general public.

What is Angelman Syndrome?

Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a genetic condition that affects the nervous system and causes severe physical and learning disabilities. It is not life-threatening, but the sufferer does require support throughout their life.

Those with AS are born with the condition which occurs at conception. For the most part, as is the case with Farrell and Bordenave, the parents do not have the condition. It occurs because of a genetic difference that usually happens when the gene known as UBE3A is either missing or not working properly.

What are the symptoms of Angelman Syndrome?

The condition becomes obvious in babies after approximately 6 to 12 months when they begin to show delayed signs of development. For example, they may be unable to sit unsupported.

Children with the syndrome have trouble speaking; in some cases, they may never speak. They will also struggle to walk and will sufferer from seizures.

Is there a cure for Angelman Syndrome?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition, but the Angelman Syndrome Foundation state that there is a high chance that one will be found. They state that scientists now know what causes AS and have even been able to reverse it in mice.

Sufferers of the condition often manage to improve their speech and movement as they get older. They can often also learn to manage their seizures.

Colin Farrell has previously said he decided to go public about his son’s condition after watching the Special Olympics in Shanghai in 2007. He said he “wanted to talk publicly about the pride and joy I had in our son.”

Farrell also recently spoke at the 2020 Global Summit and Mini-Gala for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) about his joy at seeing James take his first steps just before his 4th birthday.

In other news this week, the scandal surrounding the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Agency continues to grow as the awards ceremony feels a backlash. And Seth Rogen has spoken out about working with James Franco again following accusations of sexual misconduct.

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