Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder that occurs in approximately one out of every 15,000 births. PWS affects males and females with equal frequency and affects all races and ethnicities. PWS is recognized as the most common genetic cause of life-threatening childhood obesity.
Signs and symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome can vary among individuals. Symptoms may slowly change over time from childhood to adulthood.
Signs and symptoms that may be present from birth include:
- Poor muscle tone.A primary sign during infancy is poor muscle tone (hypotonia). Babies may rest with their elbows and knees loosely extended instead of fixed, and they may feel floppy or like rag dolls when they're held.
- Distinct facial features.Children may be born with almond-shaped eyes, a narrowing of the head at the temples, a turned-down mouth and a thin upper lip.
- Poor sucking reflex.Infants may have a poor sucking reflex due to decreased muscle tone. Poor sucking makes feeding difficult and can result in failure to thrive.
- Generally poor responsiveness.A baby may seem unusually tired, respond poorly to stimulation, have a hard time waking up or have a weak cry.
- Underdeveloped genitals.Males may have a small penis and scrotum. The testicles may be small or not descended from the abdomen into the scrotum (cryptorchidism). In females, the clitoris and labia may be small.
EARLY CHILDHOOD TO ADULTHOOD
Other features of Prader-Willi syndrome appear during early childhood and remain throughout life, requiring careful management. These features may include:
- Food craving and weight gain.A classic sign of Prader-Willi syndrome is a constant craving for food, resulting in rapid weight gain, starting around age 2 years. Constant hunger leads to eating often and consuming large portions. Unusual food-seeking behaviors, such as hoarding food, or eating frozen food or even garbage, may develop.
- Underdeveloped sex organs.A condition called hypogonadism occurs when sex organs (testes in men and ovaries in women) produce little or no sex hormones. This results in underdeveloped sex organs, incomplete or delayed puberty, and in nearly all cases, infertility. Without treatment, women may not start menstruating until their 30s or may never menstruate, and men may not have much facial hair and their voices may never fully deepen.
- Poor growth and physical development.Underproduction of growth hormone can result in short adult height, low muscle mass and high body fat. Other endocrine problems may include underproduction of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) or central adrenal insufficiency, which prevents the body from responding appropriately during stress or infections.
- Cognitive impairment.Mild to moderate intellectual disability, such as issues with thinking, reasoning and problem-solving, is a common feature of the disorder. Even those without significant intellectual disability have some learning disabilities.
- Delayed motor development.Toddlers with Prader-Willi syndrome often reach milestones in physical movement — for example, sitting up or walking — later than other children do.
- Speech problems.Speech is often delayed. Poor articulation of words may be an ongoing problem into adulthood.
- Behavioral problems.Children and adults may at times be stubborn, angry, controlling or manipulative. They may throw temper tantrums, especially when denied food, and may not tolerate changes in routine. They may also develop obsessive-compulsive or repetitive behaviors, or both. Other mental health disorders, such as anxiety and skin picking, may develop.
- Sleep disorders.Children and adults with Prader-Willi syndrome may have sleep disorders, including disruptions of the normal sleep cycle and a condition in which breathing pauses during sleep (sleep apnea). These disorders can result in excessive daytime sleepiness and worsen behavior problems.
- Other signs and symptoms.These may include small hands and feet, curvature of the spine (scoliosis), hip problems, reduced saliva flow, nearsightedness and other vision problems, problems regulating body temperature, a high pain tolerance, or a lack of pigment (hypopigmentation) causing hair, eyes and skin to be pale.
In addition to having constant hunger, people with Prader-Willi syndrome have low muscle mass, so they need fewer than average calories, and they may not be physically active. This combination of factors makes them prone to obesity and the medical problems related to obesity, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Other complications, such as an increased risk of liver disease and gallbladder stones
COMPLICATIONS OF INADEQUATE HORMONE PRODUCTION
Complications arising from inadequate hormone production may include:
- Although there have been a few reports of women with Prader-Willi syndrome becoming pregnant, most people with this disorder are unable to have children.
- Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, so they may break easily. People with Prader-Willi syndrome are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis because they have low levels of sex hormones and may also have low levels of growth hormone — both hormones help maintain strong bones.
Other complications that can result from Prader-Willi syndrome include:
- Effects of binge eating.Eating large amounts of food quickly, called binge eating, can cause the stomach to become abnormally enlarged. People with Prader-Willi syndrome may not report pain and they rarely vomit. Binge eating can also cause choking. Rarely, a person may eat so much that it causes stomach rupture.
- Reduced quality of life.Behavioral problems can interfere with family functioning, successful education and social participation. They can also reduce the quality of life for children, teenagers and adults with Prader-Willi syndrome.
Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced all over the world. It strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. When is concerned there are many effective medicines available in Homoeopathy , but the selection depends upon the individuality of the patient , considering mental and physical symptoms
Few homoeopathic medicine can be thought of in the management of Prader-Willi syndrome are:
cina, baryta carb., calc. phos., zinc met., etc