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Research Priorities

The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research seeks to stimulate research that will improve the lives of individuals with PWS in the near term; thus, we are particularly supportive of research directly developing and evaluating new therapeutic approaches to PWS.

We also are interested in supporting innovative research that will lead to significant advances in our understanding of this disorder.

All scientifically meritorious research will be considered, but areas of particular interest include:

  1. Genetics and Imprinting
  2. Obesity and Energy Balance in PWS
  3. Neurobiology of PWS / Hypothalamic Dysfunction
  4. Endocrinology and PWS
  5. Animal Models of PWS
  6. Psychiatric Disorders and Behavioral Problems in PWS
  7. Learning Disabilities / Early Intervention
  8. Sleep disorders and other clinical issues in PWS
  9. Resource Development

Genetics and Imprinting

Understanding the imprinting phenomenon in the PWS critical region, evaluating pharmacological and/or genetic approaches to alter gene expression in the region, understanding how inactivation of the critical region leads to the PWS phenotype, defining and characterizing targets of the PWS-region snoRNAs, characterizing gene expression changes in PWS.

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Obesity and Energy Balance in PWS

Understanding the basis of hyperphagia and lack of satiety in PWS, evaluating anti-obesity drugs in PWS, energy balance in PWS, alterations in hunger/satiety hormones relevant to PWS, development of therapeutic interventions.

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Neurobiology of PWS / Hypothalamic Dysfunction

Evaluation of abnormalities from the organ level to the cellular and molecular level, using imaging, models, and tissue from individuals with PWS; development of innovative therapeutic interventions.

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Endocrinology and PWS

Characterization of endocrine dysfunction in PWS, evaluation of interventions to correct endocrine dysfunction.

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Animal Models of PWS

The use of relevant animal models to understand metabolic, behavioral and developmental abnormalities in PWS; evaluation of therapeutic interventions for PWS in animal models.

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Psychiatric Disorders and Behavioral Problems in PWS

Understanding the basis of psychiatric illness in PWS, autism and PWS, obsessive-compulsive symptoms associated with PWS; development of therapeutic interventions.

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Learning Disabilities / Early Intervention

Evaluation of methods to overcome learning disabilities common in PWS, development and evaluation of early intervention approaches.

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Sleep disorders and other clinical issues in PWS

Characterization of sleep disorders, seizures, scoliosis, osteoporosis, and other clinical problems that significantly impact quality of life; evaluation of therapeutic interventions

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Resource Development

FPWR will consider supporting the development of unique in vitro and in vivo resources to be shared with the PWS community, which will be useful in accelerating PWS researc

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