1. Nov 16, 2020

Sleep issues may be linked to iron deficiency in Angelman syndrome

In patients with Angelman syndrome, difficulty sleeping may be in part related to iron deficiency, according to a study that showed treatment with iron modestly improved sleep in these patients.

In this retrospective study, 19 patients with Angelman syndrome with sleep difficulties were compared to age- and sex-matched controls.

The mean serum ferritin level was 19.9±8.5 μg/L in patients with Angelman syndrome compared to 27.8±17.8 μg/L in the control group. A normal serum ferritin level was considered 24 μg/L. In patients with Angelman syndrome compared to controls, the odds ratio of iron deficiency was 4.17.

Of the 19 patients with Angelman syndrome, 15 underwent nocturnal polysomnogram, with 9 showing an elevated periodic limb movement index (overall mean 9.8±10.4).

Overall, 17 of the 19 patients with Angelman syndrome received iron therapy. The 12 patients who were followed-up with after therapy reported improved sleep quality. Of those 12, 8 had serum ferritin levels rechecked after iron therapy, and showed a mean increase of 24±5.1 μg/L.


Ryan CS, Edlund W, Mandrekar J, et al. Iron deficiency and its role in sleep disruption in patients with Angelman syndrome. J Child Neurol. 2020:883073820941755. DOI: 10.1177/0883073820941755. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32713229.