Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism 2006;19:65-74.

A daily comprehensive muscle training programme increases lean mass and spontaneos activity in children with Prader-Willi syndrome after 6 months.
Schlumpf M, Eiholzer U, Gygax M, Schmid S, van der Sluis I, l'Allemand D.

The reduction of spontaneous physical activity (PA) and of muscle tissue are thought to be major causes of fat accretion and metabolic deterioration in Prader-Labhart-Willi syndrome (PWS). We investigated whether a generalized physical training programme in a home setting improves these parameters. The prospective study included 11 prepubertal children (mean age 8.7 years, range 5.9-11.8) with documented PWS and under continuous growth hormone treatment for at least 2.8 years. Seven children were enrolled in a training programme for several muscle groups during 4-10 minutes daily. Twelve matched children with PWS served as controls (average age 8.8 years, 6.1-11.3). Before and after training, at 6 months, PA was assessed by measuring walking distance by pedometer registration and by an activity score, and body composition by DEXA expressed as standard deviation scores (SDS) related to height. After training, lean mass (LM) increased from -1.83 to -1.48 SDS, p <0.05, whereas the controls showed no change. In the training group, walking distance and PA increased from 4.2 to 4.7 km/d and from 255 to 266 points, respectively, and these rises significantly exceeded those observed in controls.

Children with PWS can be motivated by their families to follow a short daily training, which has general effects on PA and does increase, but not normalize LM.