What is the treatment for Prader-Willi Syndrome?

There is no ‘cure’ for Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), however there are important medical and lifestyle supports needed to ensure quality of life. Early diagnosis and intervention/treatment may aid in reducing the number of challenges with PWS.

People with PWS are at higher risk of obesity and associated health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnoea and joint/mobility issues. It is imperative from early on to set clear food guidelines and education around correct types and amounts of food that should be consumed, this includes being inventive with food items deemed as ‘treats’.  Exercise plays an important role for people with PWS and introducing it as part of daily routines early on is recommended.

The use of growth hormone injections in children is reported to assist in areas including:

  • Increased height and growth rate
  • Decrease in body mass index (BMI)
  • Increase in muscle development
  • Improved respiratory function, physical performance and resting energy expenditure (REE)
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Increase in bone mineral density

Growth hormone injections do not improve appetite and food seeking behaviours or behavioural problems.