Does the gut microbiome differ between children with and without PWS?

The human gut contains bacteria that play an important role in food digestion. When the stomach and small intestine are unable to digest certain foods, gut microbes ensure nutrients are digested. Changes in gut microbes may lead to obesity, but the specific role of gut microbes in weight control in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and childhood obesity is not yet fully understood. In our study, we will compare the gut microbial composition of children with PWS to individuals of similar age, gender and body weight who do not have PWS.

Participants with AND without PWS are needed for this study.

What will participants be asked to do?
1. We will mail parents and children the study forms, stool collection kit and instructions to their home.
2. Children will have their body weight, height and waist, measured by their pediatrician on their next visit.
3. We will ask parents about their child’s eating behaviours.
4. We will ask children to record food and beverages consumed on the three days prior to the stool sample collection (Parents can help your child with this).

Who can participate in this study?
1. Normal blood thyroid hormone levels.
2. Weight stable over the preceding 2 months prior to study.
3. Infants and children between birth and 17 years old.

Who can’t participate in this study?
1. Infants and children with other clinically significant disease such as diabetes mellitus, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, chronic severe liver or kidney disease or neurologic disorders.
2. Infants and children taking medication known to affect body weight in the past year.
3. Infants and children taking antibiotics in the past 30 days prior to enrollment.

For more information about the study, please contact Shima at or  Lucila Triador, Research Assistant, at

Principal Investigator: Dr. Andrea Haqq, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta

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