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Obsessive-compulsive symptoms in Prader-Willi and "Prader-Willi-Like" patients.

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Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.



To compare obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and symptoms in a group of patients presenting with "Prader-Willi-like" features but without the genetic abnormalities associated with PWS.


16 patients aged 4 through 20 years were evaluated in a clinic specializing in the assessment and management of behavioral and food-related problems in PWS. Eight patients were found to have key features of the syndrome but did not have a PWS genotype. These PWS-like subjects were matched to 8 clinic patients with a confirmed deletion of the PWS critical region of the paternally derived chromosome 15. All subjects were evaluated for obesity, IQ, food-related problems, maladaptive behaviors, and non-food-related OC symptoms.


There were no differences between the 2 groups with respect to measures of obesity, IQ, food-related difficulties, or overall maladaptive behaviors. The PWS group showed significantly greater numbers of OC symptoms and greater symptom severity.


Patients with PWS have elevated numbers of OC symptoms and significant symptom-related impairment which are not explained by developmental delay, food-related difficulties, or obesity. OC symptoms are part of a behavioral phenotype that accompanies deletions on the proximal long arm of chromosome 15 in PWS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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