Growth hormone combined with child-specific motor training improves motor development in infants with Prader-Willi syndrome: a randomized controlled trial

Res Dev Disabil. 2013 Oct;34(10):3092-103. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.05.043. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Although severe motor problems in infants with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) are striking, motor development has never been studied longitudinally and the results of growth hormone (GH) treatment on motor development are contradictory. The authors studied whether GH treatment can enhance the effect of physical training on motor development in infants with PWS. Twenty-two infants were followed for two years during a randomized controlled trial. The treatment and control groups began GH after baseline or following a control period, respectively. Both groups followed a child-specific physical training program. Motor performance was measured every three months. Multi-level regression analysis revealed that motor development differed significantly between infants (p<.001), and this could be partially explained by baseline motor developmental level (p<.01). GH treatment enhanced the effects of child-specific physical training on both motor developmental rate and motor developmental potential. Moreover, this effect was more pronounced when GH treatment was initiated at a younger age.

Keywords: AIMS; Alberta Infant Motor Scale; BSID-II; Bayley Scales of Infant Development 2nd edition; DGRF; Dutch Growth Research Foundation; GH; GMFM; Growth hormone; Infants; MLRA; Motor development; PWS; Pediatric physical therapy; Physical training; Prader-Willi syndrome; RUNMC; Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre; gross motor function measure; growth hormone; multi-level regression analysis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Development / drug effects
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Developmental Disabilities / therapy
  • Female
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Human Growth Hormone