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Eur J Hum Genet. 2009 Jan;17(1):3-13. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2008.165. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Prader-Willi syndrome.

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  • 1Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0706, USA. suzannecassidy@comcast.net


Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a highly variable genetic disorder affecting multiple body systems whose most consistent major manifestations include hypotonia with poor suck and poor weight gain in infancy; mild mental retardation, hypogonadism, growth hormone insufficiency causing short stature for the family, early childhood-onset hyperphagia and obesity, characteristic appearance, and behavioral and sometimes psychiatric disturbance. Many more minor characteristics can be helpful in diagnosis and important in management. PWS is an example of a genetic condition involving genomic imprinting. It can occur by three main mechanisms, which lead to absence of expression of paternally inherited genes in the 15q11.2-q13 region: paternal microdeletion, maternal uniparental disomy, and imprinting defect.

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