This study is part of a larger UK-wide study investigating psychiatric illness in people with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), and describes the longitudinal aspect of psychiatric illness, in particular psychotic illness, and examines the use and role of psychotropic medication.
A total of 119 individuals with genetically confirmed PWS were included in the study. An informant-based questionnaire was administered for each participant to screen for a history of psychopathology. Those who screened positive were visited at their homes to obtain further information. This assessment included a full psychiatric history and mental state examination using the Psychiatric Assessment Schedule for Adults with Developmental Disability and the Operational Criteria Checklist for psychotic and affective illness to collect information regarding phenomenology and course of illness, and a modified life events questionnaire. At the end of the study period, informant-based telephone interviews were again carried out, up to 2.5 years after the initial screening. Information regarding medication usage was collected.
The results confirm previous findings that psychiatric illness in people with PWS resembles an affective disorder. Individuals with the maternal uniparental disomy genetic subtype had a more severe course of illness than those with the deletion genetic subtype in terms of a greater risk of recurrence, more episodes, higher incidence and a possibly poorer response to medication with more side-effects. Individuals with a recurrent episode during the follow-up period had a poorer course of illness. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication is frequently used, and beneficial effects may reflect fundamental pathological processes in PWS. Mood-stabilizing medication was found to be of little benefit and reasons for this are examined.
The longitudinal course of psychiatric illness and response to medication in people with PWS is fully described. Further research is needed regarding the effect of psychotropic medications, particularly mood-stabilizing medication. These data will enable informed decisions to be made regarding management options and provide information on the possible long-term outcome of illness.
"The adolescence of PWS individuals features a gradually exacerbating process of behavioral and psychological problems and even psychosis. For example, there is ample evidence to show an increased risk for developing psychotic disorder in PWS patients, particularly in adolescent patients and those with mUPD genotypes [Soni et al., 2007; Sinnema et al., 2011a; Lionti et al., 2012]. Also, the behavior of some patients with PWS gradually comes to resemble that of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) [Veltman et al., 2005]. "
"Two key characteristics of Angelman syndrome are an unusually sociable disposition and reduced display of negative-affect signals (stubbornness and temper tantrums) . Conversely, individuals with PWS show increased negative-affect signals and are prone to mood instability and non-psychotic depression , . These findings have led to the idea that, in addition to influencing the resource allocation from the mother to the offspring through effects on, such as, suckling behavior, brain-expressed imprinted genes can also influence the social resources that the offspring receives, especially in the social animals like primates. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Imprinted small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are only found in eutherian genomes and closely related to brain functions. A complex human neurological disease, Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), is primarily attributed to the deletion of imprinted snoRNAs in chromosome 15q11-q13. Here we investigated the snoRNA repertoires in the PWS locus of 12 mammalian genomes and their evolution processes. A total of 613 imprinted snoRNAs were identified in the PWS homologous loci and the gene number was highly variable across lineages, with a peak in Euarchontoglires. Lineage-specific gene gain and loss events account for most extant genes of the HBII-52 (SNORD115) and the HBII-85 (SNORD116) gene family, and remarkable high gene-birth rates were observed in the primates and the rodents. Meanwhile, rapid sequence substitution occurred only in imprinted snoRNA genes, rather than their flanking sequences or the protein-coding genes located in the same imprinted locus. Strong selective constraints on the functional elements of these imprinted snoRNAs further suggest that they are subjected to birth-and-death evolution. Our data suggest that the regulatory role of HBII-52 on 5-HT2CR pre-mRNA might originate in the Euarchontoglires through adaptive process. We propose that the rapid evolution of PWS-related imprinted snoRNAs has contributed to the neural development of Euarchontoglires.
PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e100329. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0100329 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Lifetime prevalence of psychotic illness in individuals with PWS is reported to be up to 60% in individuals with mUPD and up to 20% in individuals with DEL , which is at least 18 times higher than that in the general population . In addition, the mUPD patients are more likely to have a more severe course of the psychiatric illness, a higher frequency of relapse, and a poorer response to medication . The underlying neurobiology that places them at-risk is yet unknown. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prader--Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex neurogenetic disorder with symptoms that indicate not only hypothalamic, but also a global, central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction. However, little is known about developmental differences in brain structure in children with PWS. Thus, our aim was to investigate global brain morphology in children with PWS, including the comparison between different genetic subtypes of PWS. In addition, we performed exploratory cortical and subcortical focal analyses.
High resolution structural magnetic resonance images were acquired in 20 children with genetically confirmed PWS (11 children carrying a deletion (DEL), 9 children with maternal uniparental disomy (mUPD)), and compared with 11 age- and gender-matched typically developing siblings as controls. Brain morphology measures were obtained using the FreeSurfer software suite.
Both children with DEL and mUPD showed smaller brainstem volume, and a trend towards smaller cortical surface area and white matter volume. Children with mUPD had enlarged lateral ventricles and larger cortical cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume. Further, a trend towards increased cortical thickness was found in children with mUPD. Children with DEL had a smaller cerebellum, and smaller cortical and subcortical grey matter volumes. Focal analyses revealed smaller white matter volumes in left superior and bilateral inferior frontal gyri, right cingulate cortex, and bilateral precuneus areas associated with the default mode network (DMN) in children with mUPD.
Children with PWS show signs of impaired brain growth. Those with mUPD show signs of early brain atrophy. In contrast, children with DEL show signs of fundamentally arrested, although not deviant brain development and presented few signs of cortical atrophy. Our results of global brain measurements suggest divergent neurodevelopmental patterns in children with DEL and mUPD.
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