Prader-Willi Syndrome

Prader Willi syndrome ( PWS) is a complex genetic disease with neurological and behavioral manifestations caused by abnormality of the 15th chromosome. It affects males and females of all races equally. The prevalence estimates vary from 1:12000 to 1:15000 . The incidence in newborns is unknown. Prader Willi syndrome cause muscle hypotonia, growth failure ( if not treated with growth hormone), cognitive deficits, incomplete sexual development, behavioural problems and a persistent feeling of hunger that can lead to severe hyperphagia and severe obesity, in combination with a metabolism that uses fewer calories than normal. At birth, the newborn is generally underweight, hypotonic, and has difficulty sucking (with consequent slow growth) due to muscular hypotonia. The second phase (excessive growth) begins between 2 and 5 years of age and lasts lifelong and may present hyperphagia problems in the control of body weight and delayed development of motor skills in combination with behavioural disorders. Other factors that can cause problems are adverse reactions to drugs, greatly increased pain threshold, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, lack of vomiting  and unstable temperature control. Subjects with Prader- Willi syndrome may develop serious medical complications very quickly.

Services offered by the Institute for PWS are

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