What is Prader-Willi Syndrome?

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder that can lead to a wide array of symptoms, including obesity and developmental delays. It results when there is a problem with a portion of chromosome 15.

Babies born with PWS have poor muscle tone and a weak cry. They initially are slow feeders and appear undernourished. The feeding problems improve after infancy. Typically, between two and four years of age, the child becomes obsessed with food and has difficulty controlling his or her appetite. PWS also can create problems during puberty.

There is no cure for PWS. However, treatment can vastly improve the outlook for a child with PWS, so it is vital to diagnose and treat the condition as soon as possible.

Symptoms of PWS include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Low muscle tone
  • Weak cry