Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch - supported research has led to the following advances in PWS research:
The Unit on Metabolism and Neuroendocrinology, which is within the Program on Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics in the NICHD's Division of Intramural Research (DIR), also conducts studies related to some of the features of PWS, specifically those characteristics associated with food behaviors and metabolism. Recent findings include low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a chemical that plays a role in the leptin signaling pathway that regulates appetite and energy balance. For more information on this research and other findings from the unit, visit http://2012annualreport.nichd.nih.gov/umn.html.
In addition, the Section on Growth and Obesity, also within the DIR, conducts research to understand the metabolic and behavioral factors involved in determining regulation of body weight and body composition during childhood. This work includes studies of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and leptin as well as of hyperphagia and other conditions and health problems related to obesity. Visit http://2012annualreport.nichd.nih.gov/sgo.html for more on this research.
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