Background: Williams syndrome (WS) is a neurogenetic syndrome characterized by a variety of medical conditions and cognitive deficits along with distinct psychiatric and behavioral characteristics. To the best of our knowledge, no studies to date have comprehensively reported the prevalence of medical, cognitive deficits, and psychiatric disorders in one cohort of people with WS in one study.
Objectives: To detail the prevalence of the various clinical features of WS in a large nationwide Israeli cohort. To examine potential risk factors for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in WS.
Methods: We investigated the effects of cardiovascular anomalies, intellectual quotient (IQ), and phonophobia (fear of sounds) on the likelihood of ADHD. The study included 80 participants with WS (mean age 7.76 years). Relevant medical information from medical records was obtained retrospectively. In addition, IQ testing and psychiatric assessments using structured tools were conducted. The association between ADHD and cardiovascular anomalies, IQ, and phonophobia was analyzed using a logistic regression.
Results: Supravalvular aortic stenosis and supravalvular pulmonary stenosis are the prevalent cardiovascular anomaly in WS. Phonophobia and ADHD are the most prevalent psychiatric diagnoses in people with WS. Phonophobia was significantly associated with the risk for ADHD in WS participants.
Conclusions: Our findings regarding the type and prevalence of medical, cognitive, and psychiatric characteristics in WS correspond to results in previous publications. We also showed a potential link between phonophobia and ADHD that merits further research.