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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Prader-Willi syndrome


Other Names for this Disease

  • Prader-Labhart-Willi syndrome
  • PWS
  • Willi-Prader syndrome
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Your Question

My foster child will be tested for Prader-Willi syndrome, but has a very high IQ. Is it possible for people with Prader-Willi to have high IQs?  

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Is it possible for people with Prader-Willi syndrome to have high IQs?

Most people with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) have mild to moderate intellectual impairment and learning disabilities.[1] One study found that people with PWS have a range of IQs with an overall average IQ of 60, which is 40 points lower than in the general population.[2] Some people with PWS have an IQ that is above what is considered a learning disability; there have been reports of affected people with IQs of 103 and 105.[3][4][5] However, even with an IQ in the normal range, a person with PWS may have a lack of understanding for abstract concepts, and may still experience difficulty relating to peers.[5][6]
Last updated: 1/7/2015

References
  • Prader-Willi syndrome. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). July 2011; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition=praderwillisyndrome. Accessed 4/30/2014.
  • J Whittington, A Holland, T Webb, J Butler, D Clark, and H Boer. Academic underachievement by people with Prader-Willi syndrome. J Intellect Disabil Res. February 2004. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Academic%20underachievement%20by%20people%20with%20Prader-Willi%20syndrome. Accessed May 31, 2011..
  • Council for Exceptional Children. Prader-Willi Syndrome. Counsel for Exceptional Children. 2010; http://www.cec.sped.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NewsIssues/TeachingLearningCenter/ExceptionalityArea/OtherHealthImpaired/PraderWilli/default.htm. Accessed 5/27/2010.
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child & Human Development. Prader-Willi syndrome. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child & Human Development. March 2010; http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Prader_Willi_Syndrome.cfm. Accessed 5/27/2011.
  • J Whittington, A Holland, and T Webb. Relationship between the IQ of people with Prader-Willi syndrome and that of their siblings: evidence for imprinted gene effects. J Intellect Disabil Res. May 2009. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01157.x/abstract;jsessionid=2FD11FCABAC56019B3D323E3C332A051.d01t03?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+4+June+from+10-12+BST+for+monthly+maintenance. Accessed May 31, 2011..
  • J Whittington and A Holland. Neurobehavioral phenotype in Prader-Willi syndrome. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. November 2010. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajmg.c.30283/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+4+June+from+10-12+BST+for+monthly+maintenance. Accessed May 31, 2011. .
Other Names for this Disease
  • Prader-Labhart-Willi syndrome
  • PWS
  • Willi-Prader syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.