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Prader-Willi syndrome

Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes insatiable appetite and often leads to morbid obesity.

What is Prader-Willi-syndrome?

Prader-Willi syndrome is one of the most common genetic causes of obesity in children. Symptoms include low muscle tone, incomplete sexual development, short stature, and increased appetite leading to morbid obesity. The syndrome has two distinct and opposite phases – infants are born weak & have trouble feeding and fail to thrive. The second phase occurs between ages two and five, where an extreme drive to consume food develops and persists for the rest of life.

Read about PWS   

Key Statistics

15- 25,000

15- 25,000

PWS affects between 1 in 15,000 and 25,000 people

55-80%

55-80%

55-80% of people affected by PWS are obese

Mortality

Mortality

Obesity develops rapidly in uncontrolled settings and is associated with a higher mortality rate.

Prader-Willi research at Garvan

At Garvan, we’ve conducted diverse research on several aspects of PWS. We've investigated the physiological basis for insatiable appetite and new possible treatments. We've looked at the mechanisms of chronic inflammation and its contribution to elevated cardiovascular risk. Thirdly, we've investigated bone health, body composition and vitamin D levels. Our current research is investigating the gastric emptying speed as a possible contributor to increased appetite.

Our Prader-Willi syndrome research    More