What is the prognosis of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)?

Updated: Oct 14, 2020
  • Author: Ann Scheimann, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Luis O Rohena, MD, MS, FAAP, FACMG  more...
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  • Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome frequently reach adulthood and are able to function in a group home setting, performing vocational work or attending community college classes.

  • Diminished sensitivity to pain and diminished capacity to vomit may delay the diagnosis of underlying disease (eg, appendicitis).

  • Complications from hypogonadism (eg, osteoporosis/pathologic fracture), behavioral issues (eg, temper tantrums, stubbornness, psychoses), and morbid obesity (eg, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cor pulmonale) may shorten life expectancy and may affect the quality of life.

  • Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome can be mainstreamed into the classroom environment. They require additional speech therapy to enhance verbal skills and should have additional physical activity periods in place of rest periods. These individuals require a structured environment and may need a smaller classroom size for individual attention.

  • Older children with Prader-Willi syndrome may enter vocational programs (with avoidance of food preparation). Some adults have attended community colleges.

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