The Psychological Toll Rare Diseases Can Have on Healthy Siblings

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The emotional impact a rare disease can have on siblings of children with these conditions can be significant. A sibling voices survey evaluating the psychological effects of growing up with a sibling with severe epileptic encephalopathies presented at the European Congress on Epileptology last year suggests these children may be as risk for anxiety or depression. We spoke to Lauren Schwartz, a psychologist at the Rehabilitation Medicine Clinic at UW Medical Center, about the study, what it found, and what parents should take away from it.

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