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Am J Ment Retard. 2004 May;109(3):197-207.

Compulsive behavior and eye blink in Prader-Willi syndrome: neurochemical implications.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160, USA.


Compulsive behavior in Prader-Willi syndrome is well-documented, though the neurochemical basis of these behaviors remains unknown. We studied a group of 16 people with Prader-Willi syndrome and a comparison group of 19 people with intellectual disability. Using eye-blink rate as an indirect measure of central nervous system dopamine, we found a higher eye-blink rate in the Prader-Willi syndrome group and a relationship between compulsive behavior and eye-blink rate across both groups. Our findings indicate a relationship between compulsions and an indirect measure of dopamine in people with intellectual disability. Our findings may provide evidence for a gene-brain-behavior link between dopamine levels and GABAergic mechanisms in individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome.

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