Prader-Willi syndrome: 10-month-old baby weighs as much as a 9-year-old!
Prader-Willi syndrome: This 10-month-old baby weighs as much as a 9 year old, and his rapid weight gain has puzzled doctors...
This is Luis Manuel. He is just 10 months old. He weighs 4 stone and 10 pounds, that is, approximately 30 kg. That’s almost the weight of a 9-year-old!
Rare genetic condition
Luis Manuel, from Tecoman, Western Mexico weighed only seven pounds and 11 onces at birth (around 3.5 kg), but has since then, piled on the pounds.
Doctors suspect that he may have Prader–Willi syndrome(PWS) – a genetic condition that can affect muscle tone, sexual development and the nervous system. Those suffering from this disorder are permanently hungry.
Treatment for this condition is extremely expensive, and consists of a series of hormone injections, each costing more than £400.
The family is worried about his health, and have now set up a fundraising campaign to pay for the baby’s treatment.
His mother Isabel Pantoja has been quoted as saying, “After only one month we noticed that clothes did not fit him and we had to dress him in clothes for a one-year-old, and even a two-year-old.
“We saw our baby gain weight so fast. Sometimes, he could not sleep because he felt like he was suffocating due to his weight.”
While his father, Mario Gonzalez, has said, “In some cases, kids have died because of a heart attack due to being so overweight.”
“All help given for him, small or big, is good for him.”
Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that results in a number of physical, mental and behavioural problems. It is caused by a genetic defect on chromosome number 15, which happens purely by chance.
Signs and symptoms that may be present from birth include:
- Poor muscle tone
- Distinct facial features: Children may be born with almond-shaped eyes, a narrowing of the head at the temples, a turned-down mouth and a thin upper lip.
- Poor sucking reflex: Infants may have a poor sucking reflex due to decreased muscle tone. Poor sucking makes feeding difficult and can result in failure to thrive.
- Generally poor responsiveness: A baby may seem unusually tired, respond poorly to stimulation, have a hard time waking up or have a weak cry.
- Underdeveloped genitals. Males may have a small penis and scrotum.
The testicles may be small or not descended from the abdomen into the scrotum (cryptorchidism).
In females, the clitoris and labia may be small.
Prader-Willi syndrome causes a wide range of problems:
- a constant desire to eat food, which seems driven by a permanent feeling of hunger and can easily lead to dangerous weight gain
- restricted growth, leading to short stature
- reduced muscle tone (hypotonia)
- learning difficulties
- lack of sexual development
- behavioural problems, such as temper tantrums or stubbornness