Prader Willi Syndrome
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Prader Willi Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic multisystem disorder characterized during infancy by lethargy, diminished muscle tone (hypotonia), feeding difficulties, and poor weight gain. In childhood, features of this disorder include short stature, small genitals and an excessive appetite because affected individuals do not feel satisfied after completing a mean (satiety). Without intervention, this can lead to overeating and the gradual onset of obesity. The food compulsion requires constant supervision. Individuals with severe obesity may have an increased risk of cardiac insufficiency, sleep apnea, diabetes, and other serious conditions that can cause life-threatening complications. All individuals with PWS have some cognitive impairment that ranges from low normal intelligence with learning disabilities to mild to moderate intellectual disability. Behavioral problems are common and can include temper tantrums, obsessive/compulsive behavior, and skin picking. Motor milestones and language development are often delayed. PWS occurs due to abnormalities affecting certain genes in a specific region of chromosome 15. These abnormalities usually result from random (sporadic) errors in development, but are sometimes inherited.
Originally described in the medical literature in 1956, PWS is the first disorder confirmed to be due to imprinting errors (see Causes section). It is the most common genetic cause of life-threatening childhood obesity. The disorder was once known as hypogonadism, hypotonia, hypomentia, obesity (HHHO).
Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA)
8588 Potter Park Drive, Suite 500
Sarasota, FL 34238
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (UK)
125A London Rd
Derby, DE1 2QQ
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
31 Center Dr
Building 31, Room 2A32
Bethesda, MD 20892
10 Rue Charles Clement
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Foundation for Prader-Willi Research
5455 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
International Prader Willi Syndrome Organization
c/o Baschirotto Institute for Rare Diseases (BIRD)
Via Bartolomeo Bizio, 1
Costozza (VI), 36023
Medical Home Portal
Dept. of Pediatrics
University of Utah
P.O. Box 581289
Salt Lake City, UT 84158
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The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
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Last Updated: 5/31/2012
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