The Salk Institute and the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR) have created a partnership that will forge new research to study a rare genetic disorder that thwarts appetite regulation and leads to extreme obesity.
FPWR's initial $50,000 grant will fund a collaborative effort between three Salk Institute laboratories to study Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a disorder that occurs in approximately one out of every 15,000 births regardless of gender or race. Individuals with PWS lack the normal hunger and satiety cues, and constantly crave food.
Without continual supervision, those with Prader-Willi eat excessively and risk becoming extremely obese. Scientists believe it is caused by the loss of active genetic material on chromosome 15. The research performed by the Salk investigators, Wylie Vale, Paul Sawchenko and Marc Montminy, will focus on understanding why appetite is not properly regulated in PWS.