Monday, November 20, 2017

Prader-Willi syndrome?

Luis Manuel, who is just 10 months old, weighs in at 30 kilogrammes (four stone 10 lbs). 

Doctors have told his parents, from the city of Tecoman in the western Mexican state of Colima, that they fear the youngster may have Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). 

His family have launched a fundraising appeal as they say they will not be able to afford medical treatment for their little boy if the diagnosis is confirmed. Treatment would consist of a series of hormone injections, with each one reportedly costing 10,000 MXN (about £404). 

Luis Manuel weighed a healthy 3.5 kilogrammes (7 pounds 11 ounces) at birth but began to put on weight at an alarming rate. His mother, Isabel Pantoja, said: ‘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.’ 

Doctors say Luis Manuel is currently the normal weight for a nine-year-old boy even though he is still two months short of his first birthday. 

Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a loss of function of specific genes which causes sufferers to feel constantly hungry, often leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

Doctors in Tecoman say Luis Manuel would be the first ever recorded case of the condition in the city. 

Mario Gonzalez, the boy’s father, said he was worried about the health implications for his son. He said: ‘In some cases, kids have died because of a heart attack due to being so overweight.’

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  1. Like any other 10-month-old, Luis Manuel Gonzales babbles and touches anything within reach. But he stands out in a stunning and perhaps life-threatening way: he weighs 28 kilos (62 pounds).

    He might need medical treatment costing a fortune, but his father earns a little over $200 a month. And doctors do not yet know why young Luis Manuel is so huge...

    At birth he weighed 3.5 kilos, about the same as his brother Mario, who is almost three but is now dwarfed by his baby brother.

    At two months of age, Luis weighed 10 kilos. Over the next eight months he gained a staggering 18 kilos.

    "I thought it was because I had good breast milk," said his mother, 24-year-old Isabel Pantoja, speaking in the unpainted cement home where the family lives in Tecoman, in the Pacific coast state of Colima.

    His parents created a Facebook page and opened a bank account for people to donate money for Luis Manuel's medical care.

    They take turns pushing him to the hospital in a decrepit stroller for daily blood tests.

    It hurts to watch the nurses search among the rolls of fat on his arms for a vein, said his father, Mario Gonzales.

    The parents got the shock of their life when a pediatrician told them the boy might need hormone injections that cost $555 each.

    And despite lots of study and examination, no one really knows what is wrong with this baby boy.

    One of the main hypotheses is that he could have a disease called Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic condition in which children have an insatiable appetite and weak muscle tone, although this boy does not eat voraciously or spend the day demanding food...

    But he cannot walk or even crawl. He can only sit upright.

    Pantoja is becoming exhausted from carrying him so much, said the father, a well-built man who works at a juice plant.

    But there is hope. Silvia Orozco, a surgeon who specializes in nutrition, contacted the family and examined the boy.

    She concluded that his life might be in danger, but is awaiting the results of tissue sample analyses in the United States.

    Orozco said that, rather than Prader-Willi Syndrome, his problem may be this: while pregnant with Luis Manuel, his mother's diet lacked certain nutrients and this caused glands that manage his metabolism to underperform.

    If that turns out to be the case, the prognosis is good and would involve hormone shots.