[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
23-Jun-2011

[ | E-mail ] Share Share

Contact: Dr. Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22370
BioMed Central
@biomedcentral

Oxytocin promises hope in Prader-Willi syndrome

Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder which affects one child in 25,000. Children born with this syndrome have a range of complex neurological and developmental problems which continue into adult life. These can manifest as cognitive and behavioral difficulties, weight gain, problems in controlling their temper and attendant difficulties in socialization. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, demonstrates that the hormone oxytocin is able to positively affect patients by improving trust, mood, and reducing disruptive behavior.

Oxytocin is a key hormone in building social interactions and empathy. It has been shown that taking oxytocin can improve the ability of both healthy and autistic people to read faces and recognize emotion in others. Since Prader-Willi syndrome shares some characteristics with autism, and is also associated with a reduction in the number of oxytocin producing neurons, researchers from France enrolled people at a dedicated centre on a trial testing the use of the hormone.

Patients involved in the trial often stayed at the centre for one month visits where they took part in daily occupational and physical activities. They also received medical care and psychological support if it was needed. During one of their usual visits the patients received a single dose of either oxytocin, or placebo, and their eating and behavior monitored for two days prior to the treatment, and two days after.

Professor Tauber from Centre de Référence du Syndrome de Prader-Willi, France, said, "Two days after administration of oxytocin, we noticed that our patients had increased trust, decreased sadness and showed less disruptive behavior. Despite the small size of our trial, a single dose of oxytocin had a significant, late acting, effect on our patients. This is really encouraging news for the continued management of people with Prader-Willi syndrome."

###

Media Contact
Dr Hilary Glover
Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3192 2370
Email: hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com

Notes to Editors

1. Oxytocin may be useful to increase trust in others and decrease disruptive behaviours in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome: a randomised placebo-controlled trial in 24 patients

Maithé Tauber, Carine Mantoulan, Pierre Copet, Joseba Jauregui, Genevieve Demeer, Gwenaëlle Diene, Bernadette Rogé, Virginie Laurier, Virginie Ehlinger, Catherine Arnaud, Catherine Molinas and Denise Thuilleaux Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (in press)

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication.

2. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases is an open access, online journal that encompasses all aspects of rare diseases and orphan drugs. The journal publishes high quality reviews on specific rare diseases. In addition, the journal may consider articles on clinical trial outcome reports, either positive or negative, and articles on public health issues in the field of rare diseases and orphan drugs.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.