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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Williams syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • WBS
  • Williams-Beuren syndrome
  • WMS
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Is Williams syndrome inherited?

Most cases of Williams syndrome are not inherited, but occur as random events during the formation of reproductive cells (eggs or sperm) in a parent of an affected individual. Williams syndrome most often occurs in people with no history of the disorder in their family. Williams syndrome is considered an autosomal dominant condition because one copy of the altered chromosome 7 in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In a small percentage of cases, people with Williams syndrome inherit the chromosomal deletion from a parent with the condition.[1] Regardless of family history, an individual with Williams syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to each of his or her children.[2]

Last updated: 11/16/2011

  1. Williams syndrome. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). March 2008; Accessed 11/16/2011.
  2. Jasmin L. Williams syndrome. MedlinePlus. October 2009; Accessed 11/16/2011.