Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013
Principal Investigator: Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D.
Other researchers: Sasha Key, PhD
Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder associated with intellectual disabilities and a striking profile of cognitive and behavioral strengths and challenges. Persons with Williams syndrome tend to be verbal, engaging, and fascinated by sounds and music. Many have well-developed musical gifts and talents.
Caused by a deletion or small missing piece on one of the chromosome 7’s, Williams syndrome is associated with cardiac disease and other medical challenges. Persons with Williams syndrome may become quite anxious or worried about
such things as loud sounds, stormy weather, or what others think of them.
At the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, we are using a whole person approach to identify both the strengths and weaknesses of youth and adults with Williams syndrome. Using interviews and neuroimaging we are studying music, empathy,
and social skills, and how these strengths might be used to offset anxiety or fears. We are also identifying the stresses and joys that parents experience in raising their children with Williams syndrome. Much of this work is accomplished during our summer music camp program.
Persons with Williams Syndrome
To be notified when you are a possible match for a research study looking for participants, register with Vanderbilt's ResearchMatch at the link below.
ResearchMatch.org is a free and safe national website
that matches research volunteers with researchers looking for participants. Registries for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities are now
available on ResearchMatch. Everyone is welcome to join, regardless of age, or condition.
Visit www.researchmatch.org to learn more and to join today.