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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Prader-Willi syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Obesity, muscular hypotonia, mental retardation, short stature, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and small hands and feet
  • Prader Labhart Willi syndrome
  • PWS
  • Willi-Prader syndrome
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How is Prader-Willi syndrome inherited?

Most cases of Prader-Willi syndrome are not inherited. The genetic changes occur as random events during the formation of reproductive cells or in early fetal development. Affected people typically have no history of the disorder in their family.[1]

Rarely, a genetic change responsible for Prader-Willi syndrome can be inherited. For example, it is possible for a genetic defect that abnormally inactivates genes on the paternal chromosome 15 to be passed from one generation to the next.[1]

To learn more about the genetics of Prader-Willi syndrome, you may wish to visit the following link from the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association.
Last updated: 4/1/2011

  1. Prader-Willi syndrome. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). July 2009; Accessed 3/24/2011.