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Psychopharmacological Treatment of Prader-Willi Syndrome

Pei-Ning Chiou a, Li-Ping Tsai b

aDepartment of Psychiatry, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taipei Branch, Taipei, Taiwan
bDepartment of Pediatric Genetics, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taipei Branch, Taipei, Taiwan

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Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation of chromosome 15, resulting in infantile hypotonia, obesity, short stature, mild-to-moderate mental retardation and neuroendocrinological abnormalities. A number of behavioral and psychiatric problems such as temper tantrums, self-injurious behavior, impulsiveness, lability of mood, attention deficit and hyperkinetic disorder symptoms, obsessive compulsive disorder and autistic spectrum disorder are associated with the syndrome. We report two adolescents with PWS who manifested psychiatric and behavioral problems and received psychopharmacological treatment. A 14-year-old boy had the uniparental disomy type of Prader-Willi syndrome and manifested attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, uncontrollable eating behavior and conduct disorder. A 15-year-old boy had the deletion type of PWS with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and autistic spectrum symptoms. The two adolescents were both prescribed methylphenidate and sertraline hydrochloride. The present report shows the efficacy and side effects of psychotropic medications in Prader-Willi syndrome.


Methylphenidate; Prader-Willi syndrome; Psychopharmacotherapy


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