What is Prader-Willi Syndrome?

Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the brain and hypothalamus. This can cause problems with growth and development. Babies with this condition are often very small and may have low muscle tone. This can make feeding difficult and may result in problems gaining weight. Children with the syndrome are often much shorter for their age and possibly won’t go through a full puberty into adulthood.

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Treatment for Prader-Willi syndrome may include speech therapy and physiotherapy to improve movement and speech. Occupational therapy is also used to improve daily living skills. Some people with the syndrome may also need to take medication for diabetes mellitus. These medications may include insulin, pioglitazone, or metformin. Growth hormone therapy may also be prescribed for children with Prader-Willi syndrome. This treatment may improve overall height, reduce body fat, and increase muscle mass. Thyroid hormones may also be prescribed occasionally.

The symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome are caused by hypothalamic dysfunction. This part of the brain controls endocrine functions, including temperature regulation, hunger, and sleep/wake cycles. When the hypothalamus is malfunctioning, it can cause emotional and behavioural problems. Symptoms may range from excessive daytime sleepiness to difficulty controlling emotions. A Challenging behaviour training course might be useful. For details on a Challenging behaviour training course, consider Tidal Training.

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Although there is no cure for Prader-Willi syndrome, it can help scientists find better ways to prevent and treat the condition. During treatment, a psychiatrist can discuss a range of treatment options and prescribe the right medications. Sometimes a patient with Prader-Willi syndrome may need antidepressant drugs. However, these medications must be started on a lower dosage and monitored closely to avoid side-effects.

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