Prader-Willi syndrome

Overview

What is Prader-Willi Syndrome?

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare and complex genetic disease. PWS affects the whole body. When babies are born with Prader-Willi syndrome, they have low muscle tone (hypotonia), problems feeding, poor growth (failure to thrive), and developmental delays. Baby boys usually have undescended testicles.

Unlike babies with Prader-Willi syndrome, children with Prader-Willi syndrome are unable to feel full when they eat, so they have the urge to eat all the time (hyperphagia), which leads to severe and often life-threatening obesity as well as other related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome also tend to have decreased levels of hormones that control the development of secondary sexual characteristics, which leads delayed or absent puberty and typically also to infertility.

People with Prader-Willi syndrome can also be shorter than average (small stature) and typically have small hands and feet. Mild-to-moderate learning difficulties and intellectual disabilities are common, as are certain behaviors, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, poor mood control, and stubbornness.

References
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What else is Prader-Willi syndrome called?

How common is Prader-Willi syndrome?

What else is Prader-Willi syndrome called?
  • Prader-Willi
  • Prader-Labhart-Willi syndrome
  • PWS

Prader-Willi syndrome is also known as:

References
How common is Prader-Willi syndrome?

Prader-Willi syndrome affects approximately 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 30,000 people worldwide.

References

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