Prader-Willi syndrome is an uncommon disorder that occurs when seven genes on chromosome fifteen are either missing or unexpressed. This can result in a wide variety of both mental and physical complications throughout life. The first indicator of this disorder is chronic hunger pains. These pains usually begin after the individual turns one and can effect both woman and men equally. The problems associated with Prader-Willi syndrome are often a result of obesity due to the constant need to eat to reduce the pain.
Symptoms can appear in infants as early as a few months old. Infants exhibiting symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome will develop in general less quickly than other babies. A low weight as well as decreased muscle definition are two signs of this disorder. Often it will be difficult to wake up the child and development such as lifting their own head, crawling, or walking may happen much later than average.
Symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome that develop later in life would be underdevelopment in muscles and reproductive organs. Physical and mental development will be limited. Often an individual suffering from this disorder will be overweight and have constant food cravings. Spine complications can develop as the individual gains weight rapidly and maintains the excess weight over time.
The mental symptoms of this disorder can be as mild as a sleeping disorder or as severe as learning disabilities and lack of coordination. Motor skills will be delayed or hesitant. Speech problems may develop, especially when the child is initially learning to speak. This may lead to learning disabilities which may caused depression later in life.
This is a genetic disorder that results from an improperly matched pair of chromosome fifteen. In general you will get one chromosome from a father and one from a mother to make the set of the child. If there is a case where no chromosome comes from a parent it will result in this disorder. It can also be a result of two chromosomes that are not correctly matched up and as such cannot contribute to the genetic makeup of the child.
These cases appear to be random and although they are genetic do not seem to run in families. It is a gene mutation that is as likely to happen to men as it is to women. It can be a result of a missing chromosome from one parent or both parents. Just because an individual has one child with this disorder doesn’t mean the next one will have it. It’s difficult to predict and hard to initially diagnose. Most cases go unreported until later years in life and are shrugged off as simply late development.
See your doctor
It is important to seek the aid of a physician if your infant is developing slower than average or appears to lack muscle definition or energy. If your toddler is constantly having food cravings and can eat much more than average this may also be an indicator. These children will usually have a higher pain tolerance than most because they are used to a certain level of pain dealing with the hunger.
Diagnosis is made by a mapping of the genes. You can determine any abnormalities in the fifteenth chromosome pair using that test. After a diagnosis has been made there are several options for treatment. Providing good nutrition to your infant in the early years of their development will decrease the lack of muscle definition. Using a high-calorie baby formula will help your infant gain the necessary weight to stay healthy.
Later in life an individual can receive growth hormones and sex hormones to aid in normal development. Proper diet and exercise can deal with the weight gain. There is a wide variety of mental health care providers available in the case of a mood disorder. Pain can be decreased a little with the use of pain medications but is not always recommended at such a young age. Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare but serious disorder that commonly goes undiagnosed for years. The early the disorder is caught, the better chances to limit the amount of damage that can be done both physically and mentally.
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