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Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS)

What is Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)?
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic syndrome that affects one in every 12,000-15,000 people of both sexes and all races and ethnic groups. It is caused by a disorder of chromosome 15.

To learn more about genetics and to better understand how genes cause syndromes, see YourChild: Genetic Syndromes.

What are the features of children with PWS?
Any of these symptoms may show up in your child and can vary from mild to severe:

What causes Prader-Willi syndrome? Is there a test for it?
The syndrome is caused by genetic deletions (missing genetic material) on Chromosome 15. The way it happens is complicated. If you want to know more, visit the links below. Genetic tests for PWS are available. People with the signs and symptoms of PWS should get tested. The types of tests and how they work are reviewed in the following links:

What are the major health concerns for people with PWS?

How is PWS treated?
There is no cure for PWS, but PWS comes with lots of health problems that need to be treated. With early diagnosis and a proactive approach, kids with PWS can thrive.

What are some other sources of information and support?

Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, R.N. and Tarin Gitlin, M.D.  Reviewed by Kathy Clark, RN, CS, MSN.
Updated May 2008

U-M Health System Related Sites:
U-M Pediatrics
C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

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