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What is some information about Prader-Willi syndrome?

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Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic condition that affects one in 10,000 to 30,000 people, according to Genetics Home Reference. It occurs due to a loss of function of chromosome 15 and affects every cell in the body. The condition causes mild-to-moderate intellectual development, and children affected by it develop an insatiable appetite that leads to obesity. Often, patients with Prader-Willi syndrome develop Type 2 diabetes.

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Prader-Willi syndrome affects many different parts of the body and thus several functions, warns Genetics Home Reference. Children often experience behavior problems and develop slowly. The condition affects sexual development with children sometimes having delayed or incomplete puberty. In many instances, the syndrome causes infertility.

Parents of children with Prader-Willi syndrome should work with a team of specialists to minimize the side effects it can cause for the child, reports Mayo Clinic. Infants often require special formula that helps maintain muscle tone and improves weight gain. Growth hormones and sex hormones help the child to develop more normally. The child may also require physical, occupational and speech therapy. Mental health therapy addresses the obsessive compulsive behaviors and behavioral problems the syndrome brings.

Many patients with Prader-Willi syndrome require care as adults, notes Mayo Clinic. As the child transitions to adulthood, parents face decisions regarding long-term care and guardianship. The child’s health care provider serves as a valuable resource in the transition to adult care for the patient.

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