Associations between cognitive performance and the rehabilitation, medical care and social support provided to French children with Prader-Willi syndrome

Eur J Med Genet. 2020 Dec;63(12):104064. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2020.104064. Epub 2020 Sep 28.


Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorder with a characteristic behavioural phenotype. A multidisciplinary approach to care is required to prevent multiple medical complications in individuals affected by PWS. The aim of this study was to describe the rehabilitation, medical care, educational and social support provided to school-aged French PWS patients with varying neuropsychological profiles. Data were obtained from a French multicentre study that included patients aged 4-20 years with diverse genetic syndromes. Nineteen PWS subjects with a mean age of 9.2 years were included. The mean full-scale intellectual quotient (IQ) was 58 (Wechsler scale). There were frequent dissociations between verbal and performance IQ that were not associated with a specific profile. We also observed lower autonomy and communication scores (5.3 years and 5.9 years equivalent, respectively, Vineland scale), the absence of hyperactivity (Conners scale), and the presence of behavioural abnormalities (CBCL scale). Multidisciplinary medical supervision was generally coordinated by the paediatric endocrinologist and did not always include follow-up with all of the recommended specialists, in particular with a paediatric psychiatrist. Analysis of multidisciplinary rehabilitation conducted in public and private-sector establishment revealed failings in psychological support, occupational therapy and dietary follow-up. Regarding education, most children younger than 10 years were in normal schools, while older individuals were often cared for in medico-social institutions. In conclusion, children and adolescents with PWS generally received appropriate care. Though there have been considerable improvements in the management of children with PWS, reference centres should continue reinforcing the coordination of multidisciplinary supervision.

Keywords: Intellectual disability; Patient care management; Prader-Willi syndrome; Social support.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition*
  • Education, Special / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • France
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurological Rehabilitation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult