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.

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Research in Developmental Disabilities
Department of Psychiatry

Reus, L, Pelzer, B, Otten, B.J, Siemensma, E.P.C, van Alfen-van der Velden, J.A.A.E.M, Festen, D.A.M, … Nijhuis-van der Sanden, M.W.G. (2013). Growth hormone combined with child-specific motor training improves motor development in infants with Prader-Willi syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(10), 3092–3103. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2013.05.043