Under the guidance of our Scientific Advisory Board through a carefully managed grants process, FPWR selects research projects based on the collaborative input of researchers and parents, choosing projects that are both scientifically meritorious and highly relevant for individuals with PWS and their families.

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Development of appetite-related neural circuits in a mouse model for Prader-Willi syndrome (year 1)

Funded Year: 2013

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disease characterized by an insatiable appetite and a variety of behavioral dysregulations. It is known that the brain, and particularly a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, is important to regulating appetite and body weight. We also know that many key physiological processes, including appetite...

Pancreatic and neuro-endocrine cell secretory pathway deficits in PWS

Funded Year: 2013

Many advances in recent years have added to our understanding of the genetic causes of PWS, including recognition of it as a disorder of genomic imprinting involving defective genes that normally only function after inheritance from the father. At least a dozen genes appear to contribute to the many clinical problems seen in PWS. Unfortunately the...

Use of stem cell-derived neurons to identify the molecular basis of the PWS

Funded Year: 2013

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is caused by a loss of expression of specific genes normally expressed only from paternal alleles on chromosome 15. PWS patients display common symptoms, which include feeding difficulties in infancy, loss of muscle tone, rapid weight gain after two years of age, extreme hunger and unrelenting appetite, obesity, and...

Reactivation of maternally-silenced genes in PWS

Funded Year: 2013

This proposal will investigate the development of a gene therapy for Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PWS is caused by the loss of a region of human cromosome 15q11-13. Humans have two copies of chromosome 15, one the mother (maternal) and one from the father (paternal). Due to an unusual mechanism called genetic imprinting, the genes affecting PWS...

Small molecular screening and therapeutic potential for PWS

Funded Year: 2013

Like most genetic disorders, there is no specific therapeutic intervention targeted to the molecular defect for Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). The clinical presentations of PWS are caused by paternal deficiency of genes in the chromosome 15q11-q13 region. Recent reports indicate a region between the SNRPN and UBE3A genes harboring SnoRNA clusters is...

Development of leptin dysregulation in a mouse model of obesity in PWS

Funded Year: 2013

The brain balances energy stores with energy expenditure with little conscious effort. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that senses levels of a hormone called leptin, which is produced by fat. Excess leptin normally causes a decrease in appetite and increase in activity. This balance is disrupted in obese children who carry mutations in...

Nutritional aspects of Prader-Willi syndrome and childhood obesity: correlation of plasma orexin levels with nutritional phases

Funded Year: 2013

Early in infancy, babies with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) have no interest in feeding manifested by lack of crying for food and failure-to-thrive requiring assisted feeding with a G-tube, NG tube, or cross-cutting of bottle nipple (phase 1a). There is then a series of transition through five nutritional phases, ending in the classic PWS...

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