Caregiver-based perception of disease burden in Schaaf-Yang syndrome


Dotsch L, Matesevac L, Strong TV, Schaaf CP.

Scientific Notation:

Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine. 2023,

Publication Link:


Background: Schaaf-Yang syndrome (SYS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by truncating variants in the paternally expressed MAGEL2 gene in the Prader-Willi syndrome-region on chromosome 15q. In addition to hypotonia and intellectual disability, individuals with SYS are frequently affected by neonatal contractures and autism spectrum disorder. In this study, we focus on the burden of disease on patients and their families for the first time.
Methods: Based on the online SYS Patient Voices Survey the perspective of 81 primary caregivers on SYS was assessed.
Results: The perceived severity of muscular and developmental manifestations dominated the evaluation of the phenotype in early childhood, while behavioral issues were considered more impactful later in life. Importantly, an apprehension toward symptoms with a later onset was observed in caregivers of younger children. Available therapeutic options, while mostly effective, did not sufficiently alleviate the total burden of disease. Overall, parents stated that caring for an individual with SYS was very challenging, affecting their daily lives and long-term planning.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the necessity for treatments that, adapted to age and in accordance with the caregivers' prioritization, improve the patients' medical condition and thus facilitate their and their families' social participation.