I would be grateful for the opportunity to let readers of the Laois Nationalist know about an important conference for people with an interest in Prader-Willi Syndrome taking place in the University of Limerick from July 6 to 10.
Prader-Willi Syndrome, or PWS, is named after the Swiss doctors who first identified it. It is a complex genetic disorder that is characterised by a feeling of hunger that never goes away and an inability to control the impulse to seek and eat food.
People with PWS live in a constant state of worry and anxiety about food. Unless the person is supervised at all times, it can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity.
PWS also gives rise to intellectual disability, mental health problems, challenging behaviour, and complex medical issues such as scoliosis and seizures.
The forthcoming conference offers a particular opportunity for families to come together to gain support from each other.
There is a stream dedicated to parents, with talks on supporting children with PWS from children to adulthood, as well as sessions on topical issues such as nutrition, physical activity, body perception, obesity management and sleep disorders.
While there is no cure or treatment yet for PWS, the conference will showcase the latest international research and the significant advances that continue to be made.
We also hope to shine a light on how people with PWS can be better supported and how standards of care can be improved.
The conference is organised by the International Prader-Willi Syndrome Organisation, and co-hosted by ourselves at the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association Ireland.
We would be delighted to welcome anyone with an interest in the area to register at www.pwsai.ie/ipwso-conference
I look forward to seeing you there.
Prader-Willi Syndrome Association Ireland
North Brunswick Street