Sydney: People with a harrowing genetic disorder known as Prader-Willi Syndrome, often develop insatiable appetites for life. But a study based on a drug, prescribed for some diabetes patients, has shown promising results.
"Prader-Willi Syndrome causes such an inordinate amount of suffering for patients and their families that the stress far exceeds the social cost suggested by its low prevalence," said study author Lesley Campbell, professor at Garvan Institute.
Roughly one in 25,000 babies are born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, condemned to develop ravenous, insatiable, appetites for life, reports the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
They grow into obese adults with cardiovascular problems and an average lifespan of roughly 35 years. A group of people with Prader-Willi Syndrome participated in the recent study, along with another group of obese people matched for age, weight and gender.
On two occasions, participants received a meal along with an injection of either saline solution or the drug exenatide.
Unaware of which injection they had been given, participants were asked to rate how hungry or full they felt during and after the meal, and to report on any side effects up to 24 hours after, according to a Garvan Institute statement.
Researchers found that people with the Syndrome experienced some significant fullness when given exenatide before food, but had no real fullness when given the placebo instead.
Besides, the Prader-Willi group experienced no major side effects from the drug, whereas all but two of the obese-only group experienced bloating, nausea or vomiting.