A study undertaken by researchers from Agilent Laboratories and the UC Davis MIND Institute has found that Prader-Willi syndrome — a genetic disorder best known for causing an insatiable appetite that can lead to morbid obesity — is associated with the loss of non-coding RNAs that function to balance energy expenditure in the brain during sleep.
The finding could have a profound effect on how clinicians treat children with Prader-Willi, as well as point the way to new, innovative therapies. Prader-Willi is the leading cause of morbid obesity among children in the United States.
The researchers said that their study provides a clearer picture of why children with Prader-Willi syndrome can’t sleep or feel satiated and may change therapeutic approaches. For example, many such children have been treated with growth hormone because of short stature, but this actually may boost other aspects of the disease.
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