Oxytocin and Prader-Willi syndrome

Anahid Kabasakalian, Casara J. Ferretti, Eric Hollander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


In the chapter, we explore the relationship between the peptide hormone, oxytocin (OT), and behavioral and metabolic disturbances observed in the genetic disorder Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of PWS are described, as are the potential implications of an abnormal OT system with respect to neural development including the possible effects of OT dysfunction on interactions with other regulatory mediators, including neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and hormones. The major behavioral characteristics are explored in the context of OT dysfunction, including hyperphagia, impulsivity, anxiety and emotion dysregulation, sensory processing and interoception, repetitive and restrictive behaviors, and dysfunctional social cognition. Behavioral overlaps with autistic spectrum disorders are discussed. The implications of OT dysfunction on the mechanisms of reward and satiety and their possible role in informing behavioral characteristics are also discussed. Treatment implications and future directions for investigation are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages29
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)1866-3370
ISSN (Electronic)1866-3389


  • Autistic spectrum disorder
  • Hyperphagia
  • Neuropeptide
  • Oxytocin
  • Prader-Willi
  • PWS
  • Restrictive and repetitive behaviors
  • Reward
  • Satiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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