Research Publications Archive - Foundation for Prader-Willi Research | Behavior

Microstructural white matter tract alteration in Prader-Willi syndrome: A diffusion tensor imaging study

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder characterized by infantile hypotonia, hyperphagia, hypogonadism, growth hormone deficiency, intellectual disability, and severe emotional and behavioral problems. The brain mechanisms that underpin these disturbances are unknown. Diffusion tensor...

Aberrant White Matter Microstructure in Children and Adolescents With the Subtype of Prader-Willi Syndrome at High Risk for Psychosis

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a complex neurogenetic disorder caused by loss of the paternal 15q11.2-q13 locus, due to deletion (DEL), maternal uniparental disomy (mUPD), or imprinting center defects. Individuals with mUPD have up to 60% risk of developing psychosis in early adulthood. Given the...

Autism spectrum disorder: neuropathology and animal models

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a major impact on the development and social integration of affected individuals and is the most heritable of psychiatric disorders. An increase in the incidence of ASD cases has prompted a surge in research efforts on the underlying neuropathologic processes. We...

Reduced Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Is Associated With Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Prader–Willi Syndrome

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is characterized by infantile hypotonia, hypogonadism, small hands and feet, distinct facial features and usually intellectual impairment. The disorder is associated with severe behavioral disturbances which include hyperphagia leading to morbid obesity, temper...

Monogenic mouse models of autism spectrum disorders: Common mechanisms and missing links

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) present unique challenges in the fields of genetics and neurobiology because of the clinical and molecular heterogeneity underlying these disorders. Genetic mutations found in ASD patients provide opportunities to dissect the molecular and circuit mechanisms...

Autism spectrum disorder in Prader-Willi syndrome: A systematic review

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder that results from lack of expression of paternally-derived genes on chromosome 15q11-13; caused by a deletion (DEL), uniparental disomy (UPD), or a rare imprinting center defect. PWS is associated with a distinct behavioral phenotype that in...

A review of chemosensory perceptions, food preferences and food-related behaviours in subjects with Prader-Willi Syndrome

Hyperphagia and obsessive preoccupation with food are hallmark characteristics of Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Although hyperphagia in PWS is linked to hypothalamic dysfunction, the underlying mechanisms behind this problem are poorly understood. Moreover, our understanding of...

Neural correlates of self-injurious behavior in Prader-Willi syndrome

Individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a genetic disorder caused by mutations to the q11-13 region on chromosome 15, commonly show severe skin-picking behaviors that can cause open wounds and sores on the body. To our knowledge, however, no studies have examined the potential neural...

Epigenetic mechanisms in diurnal cycles of metabolism and neurodevelopment

Abstract The circadian cycle is a genetically encoded clock that drives cellular rhythms of transcription, translation and metabolism. The circadian clock interacts with the diurnal environment that also drives transcription and metabolism during light/dark, sleep/wake, hot/cold and feast/fast...

A double-blind randomized controlled trial of oxytocin nasal spray in Prader Willi syndrome

Individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) have a significant reduction in the number of oxytocin-producing neurons (42%) in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. A number of animal studies and observations of humans show that lesions in this region can produce PWS-like symptoms. Given the...