Oxytocin and the Autonomic Nervous System in PWS

There is a reduction in the number of neurons that produce oxytocin in people with PWS. This, along with a range of other evidence supports the likelihood that abnormalities in the oxytocin system are key to the problems of PWS. However, studies examining the levels of oxytocin in PWS as well as clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of oxytocin on PWS symptoms has led to mixed results. We want to better understand these mixed findings. This will help to develop more effective interventions in the future.

The aims of this study are to examine:

  1. Whether the plasma levels of the two forms of oxytocin are abnormal in PWS
  2. Whether the oxytocin receptor gene is altered in PWS
  3. How autonomic nervous system abnormalities relate to symptoms and to the oxytocin system in PWS

The results of this study will help to understand the how the oxytocin system is altered in PWS. This information will help us to develop a more targeted intervention.

This study is recruiting individuals with and without PWS ages 13 to 30 years.

The study will be conducted over a 2 hour visit at either the University of Sydney in Camperdown, NSW or the Royal Children’s Hospital in Parkville, Victoria.

At the visit participants will be invited to take part in 4 activities. These include:

  1. Two cognitive tasks
  2. Provide a sample of blood
  3. Provide a sample of saliva
  4. Participate in two tasks while wearing a heart rate monitor.

Participants will receive a $50 gift voucher as a reimbursement for their time.

To learn more, please contact Lauren Rice.
Phone: +61 2 9114 4106;
Email:  fhs.devpsych@sydney.edu.au

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