Unraveling the developmental neurobiology of PWS: a cross-sectional brain imaging study

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare disorder, sharing common genes with autism and schizophrenia; patients with PWS are at very high risk of developing severe psychiatric illnesses and behavioral problems, however, the underlying neurobiology that places them at-risk is yet unknown. Here we propose a cross-sectional, multi-faceted brain imaging study in children with PWS. The results of the proposed project will hopefully reveal biomarkers for early intervention and contribute to optimizing the management of psychiatric illnesses in PWS, improving quality of life of these patients as well as their caregivers, and better understanding of mechanisms of psychiatric illnesses.

Research Outcomes:

A research blog post taking a closer at one of the publications from this project on how "Brain imaging shows structural differences between the PWS vs. non-PWS brain." can be found here.

Aberrant White Matter Microstructure in Children and Adolescents With the Subtype of Prader–Willi Syndrome at High Risk for Psychosis. Lukoshe A, van den Bosch GR, van der Lugt A, Kushner SA, Hokken-Koelega A, White T. Schizophr Bull. 2017 Sep 1;43(5):1090-1099.

Altered functional resting-state hypothalamic connectivity and abnormal pituitary morphology in children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Lukoshe A, van Dijk SE, van den Bosch GE, van der Lugt A, White T, Hokken-Koelega AC. Journal of Neurodevelopmental  Disorders. 2017 Feb 21;9:12. 

Reduced cortical complexity in children with Prader-Willi Syndrome and its association with cognitive impairment and developmental delay. Lukoshe AHokken-Koelega AC, van der Lugt A, White T. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 16;9(9):e107320.

Divergent structural brain abnormalities between different genetic subtypes of children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Lukoshe A, White T, Schmidt MN, van der Lugt A, Hokken-Koelega AC.  Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. 22;5(1):31, 2013.

Funded Year:


Awarded to:

Akvile Lukoshe and Anita Hokken-Koelega, MD


$64,573 (OSS Funds)


Erasmus Univ, Netherlands

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