Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS)

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a genetic condition which is characterized by weak muscles, slow development, and poor feeding among babies but they become constantly hungry when they further grow into childhood; this often leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Their insatiable hunger is caused by a flaw in their hypothalamus, the brain part responsible for appetite. Other symptoms include behavioral problems, intellectual disability, narrow forehead, small hands and feet, short stature, light-colored skin, and sterility.

PWS is attributed to the deletion of some genes in chromosome 15. Most cases involve the deletion of the father’s chromosome 15 during early stage of prenatal development. In rarer cases, the mother’s 2 copies of chromosome 15 are utilized, discarding the copy from the father. This disorder has no known risk factors and is not inherited. PWS was described in detail by Andrea Prader, Heinrich Willi, and Alexis Labhart in 1956.

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