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A rare condition under the spotlight

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Four-year-old Isobel Walker has a burning, uncontrollable hunger that will always be with her

It is the most noticeable symptom of a rare condition called Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS).

As a result, her parents have to enforce a strict diet that will never end. Even worse, people with PWS can only consume 60 per cent of the calories that someone without the condition would eat, as their digestion works differently.

Isobel is one of 2,000 people in the country with PWS. Other symptoms include low muscle tone, poor temperature regulation, a risk of obesity and moderate learning difficulties.

It is 60 years since PWS was discovered, and the Masonic Charitable Foundation is marking the event with a grant of £10,000 to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association UK. The donation will help to fund a support worker for families with a PWS child in the south of England.