Medical » Oxytocin study
Symptoms such as obsessions, overeating, rage attacks, skin picking, irregular sleep breathing and temperature control,and impairments in learning and understanding social cues are often present in Prader Willi Syndrome (PWS). Brain studies suggest that such symptoms are related to a lack of oxytocin, a natural occurring hormone released from the hypothalamus part of the brain. The Brain & Mind Research Institute (BMRI) at the University of Sydney is currently conducting a national trial to test if an oxytocin nasal spray improves the behaviour and physical health of people with PWS aged 12-30 years.
People with PWS aged 12-30 years with a developmental age of 8 years and above are invited to participate in this study. Participants will be required to visit the BMRI in Camperdown on three occasions over an 18 week period. The study involves a clinical assessment, two 8 week nasal spray treatments (oxytocin and a placebo), and completing a computer task. Participants will also need to keep a record of their weight throughout the trial.
Caregivers and teachers will be asked to complete questionnaires about the participants' behaviour.
Some financial support is available for interstate participants.
Syntoncinin-spray (oxytocin) is a synthetic version of a hormone found naturally in the body. It has been studied in research and has been found to be associated with pair bonding, maternal care, sexual behaviour and social attachment in humans. Given intranasally, it has been studied many times. Oxytocin is not, however, approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to treat PWS. This trial aims to discover the long term benefits of this treatment option. Treatment will be supervised by medical and mental health professionals. There are not expected to be any significant negative side effects given the dose that is administered via the nasal spray.
This study has University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee approval.
For more information, contact: Brain & Mind Research Institute, phone +61 (02) 9114.4060