Schaaf-Yang syndrome (SYS) is a genetic disorder caused by a disruption of the MAGEL2 gene on chromosome 15. The disrupted gene causing Schaaf-Yang syndrome is also missing in another, more common genetic disorder, Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PWS is caused when MAGEL2 and several additional genes on chromosome 15 are missing or inactivated.

Schaaf-Yang syndrome shares many clinical features with Prader-Willi syndrome. Those include hypotonia, feeding difficulties during infancy, global developmental delay/intellectual disability, and sleep apnea. However, patients with Schaaf-Yang syndrome have a relatively higher prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, and almost all of them manifest joint contractures, typically affecting the finger joints, but in more severe cases also involving knees and elbows.

Because MAGEL2 is one of the key genes involved in PWS, the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR) has funded a number of studies to understand how MAGEL2 normally functions, and how loss of MAGEL2 function causes the symptoms associated with SYS and PWS.

The ultimate goal of the MAGEL2 work supported by FPWR is to develop new therapies, which may improve the lives of individuals with both SYS and PWS. Click here to learn more about MAGEL2 research funded by FPWR.


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Our foundation relies on volunteers, like you, to help us accelerate our programs. We welcome you to join our team and get involved as we work together to eliminate the challenges of Schaaf-Yang and Prader-Willi syndromes.