Journal of Pediatrics 2003; 142: 73-8

Improving body composition and physical activity in Prader-Willi Syndrome
Eiholzer U, Nordmann Y, l'Allemand D, Schlumpf M, Schmid S, Kromeyer-Hauschild K.

To determine if muscle training in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) can improve local body composition, physical capacity, and activity. Study design Seventeen children and adolescents with PWS and 18 control children were enrolled in a daily short calf muscle training program for 3 months. Before (t(0)) and after 3 months of training (t(3m)), spontaneous physical activity and exercise capacity were assessed by pedometer registrations and activity protocols. Local body composition was determined by calf circumference and skinfold measurements at t(0), t(3m), and 3 months after t(3m) (t(6m)).

During training, calf skinfold decreased from 1.1 to 0.8 SD (P <.01) and calf circumference in PWS increased from 1.4 to 1.9 SD (P <.05), reflecting improved muscle mass. At t(3m), a significant increase in spontaneous physical activity (from 45% to 71%, compared with baseline data of control children, P <.05) and physical capacity (from 31%-78%, P <.01) was found.

In persons with PWS, a well-defined and easy-to-accomplish training program improves local body composition and has generalized effects on physical activity and capacity, opening up a new therapeutic option to improve metabolic conditions.