Prader-Willi syndrome is caused by genetic changes on an "unstable" region of chromosome 15 that affects the regulation of gene expression, or how genes turn on and off. This part of the chromosome is called unstable because it is prone to being shuffled around by the cell's genetic machinery before the chromosome is passed on from parent to child.
The genetic changes that cause Prader-Willi syndrome occur in a portion of the chromosome, referred to as the Prader-Willi critical region (PWCR), around the time of conception or during early fetal development.1 This region was identified in 1990 using genetic DNA probes. Although Prader-Willi syndrome is genetic, it usually is not inherited and generally develops due to deletions or partial deletions on chromosome 15.
Specific changes to the chromosome can include the following:
All related topics
All related news