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What is Prader-Willi syndrome?

Prader–Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body. Parder-Willi syndrome is characterised by weak muscle tone (hypotonia), feeding difficulties, poor growth, and delayed development in infancy and chronic overeating (hyperphagia), obesity, and short stature in children from the age of two years. Children with Prader-Willi syndrome may also have learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

Physiotherapy treatment will help your child reach their developmental milestones and manage their physical problems. Physiotherapy will also improve cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength and help your child maintain a healthy weight.

Stretches and exercises to improve exercise tolerance and flexibilityAbove: Stretches and exercises to improve exercise tolerance and flexibility

What causes Prader-Willi syndrome?

Prader-Willi syndrome is caused by deletion of seven genes on chromosome 15 on the paternal chromosome.

How is Prader-Willi diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome is usually confirmed by a doctor following a blood test and a detailed physical examination, for example looking at your childs muscle tone.Specific tests such as a "FISH" (fluorescent in situ hybridization) test and a methylation analysis will also help to confirm a diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome?

The symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome depend on the stage of development. At birth and in infancy symptoms may include: Symptoms in childhood include: Symptoms in adolescence include:
  • Delayed puberty
  • Short stature
  • Obesity
  • Extremely flexible

Physiotherapy for Prader-Willi syndrome?

Physiotherapy is important for children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Our specialised paediatric physiotherapists at will address your childs physical symptoms such as tone, muscle strength and balance and their current developmental milestone in order to assist your child in attaining their maximum functional ability. Physiotherapy treatment at will be centred on:
  • Improving muscle tone
  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Improving balance and coordination
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Facilitating developmental milestones (such as sitting, crawling, standing and walking at the right time)
  • Enhancing everyday gross motor skills (such as dressing and walking) and fine motor skills (such as eating and writing)
  • Assisting your child in reaching their maximum potential
Physiotherapy will differ according to the problems identified and age of your child. At paediatric physiotherapy treatment will be tailored to your child individual needs but may include: At, our paediatric physiotherapists will provide ongoing treatment for your child so that they continue to make long term improvements and gain more independence with everyday activities at school or home.

For more information to see how physiotherapy can help your child or to book an appointment please call 0330 088 7800, or book online today!

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