Home / Health / 380-pound girl with genetic condition wins Miss Amazing Pageant: What is Prader-Willi Syndrome? : Health: Tech Times

380-pound girl with genetic condition wins Miss Amazing Pageant: What is Prader-Willi Syndrome? : Health: Tech Times

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A 15-year-old girl from Mississippi diagnosed with the rare Prader-Willi syndrome has won the Miss Amazing crown. PWS is an incurable genetic disease that leads to insatiable hunger and chronic obesity. ( Jennifer Hankins | )

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5-year-old Mississippi girl weighing 380 pounds and having a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome wins the Miss Amazing crown.

Anna Hankins' incurable disease gives her voracious hunger that leads to chronic obesity, intellectual delay and shortness of breath compared to her peers in her age. Anna's family said she has been suffering from this disease since birth, and that the disease has evolved over time.

"When she was little, the first words were out of her mouth:" I'm hungry "and the last ones were" I'm hungry, "said Anna's mother Jennifer Hankins, adding that the appetite her daughter was uncontrollable about having to close the fridge.

Jennifer admitted that she did not know how to stop Anna's desire to get bigger and bigger, and she's currently on a 900-calorie diet because her body has a hard time metabolizing food.

Rare Disease

About one in every 15,000 babies born in the United States has Prader-Willi Syndrome or PWS Rare disease is diagnosed with poor muscle tone, which means that infants need control of their neck and trunk longer than usual, as well as a poor sucking reflex.

Other symptoms are distinct facial features, poor responsiveness, and underdeveloped genitals. As the child reaches adulthood, weight steadily increases as appetite goes beyond normal levels. There will be speech and behavioral problems, sleep disorders as well as cognitive or intellectual disabilities.

However, PWS is not a debilitating disease, and patients can still live a functional life as their body adapts to their environment. Lori Brasfield-Sanders, director of Miss Amazing Mississippi, said that Anna is not only an inspiration to those who have the same disease, but also to ordinary people.

"The biggest misunderstanding among people with disabilities is that they can not do it Anna is a great ambassador," said Brasfield-Sanders.

Treatment and rehabilitation

Individuals with PWS usually have missing chromosomal genes, most of them from the father. The missing genes are then replaced by those from the mother or vice versa in a procedure called uniparental disomy, according to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association website.

Another cause of PWS is debossed mutation, which is a very rare class of disease occurring in 1 to 3 percent of patients. When the mutation happens, the 15 paternal chromosomes, although present in the cells, remain inactive.

There is currently no cure for PWS, but the management of the symptoms is crucial. The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research recommends the elimination of insatiable appetite and obesity for the patient to live independently.

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