Small study suggests antipsychotics may reduce seizure severity in Prader-Willi syndrome

half the people with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) treated with the antipsychotic aripiprazole in a small German study experienced fewer outbursts of anger, but daytime sleepiness was a common side effect.

However, the drug did not cause weight gain, which is an added advantage given that people with Prader-Willi syndrome usually have an increased appetite and eat excessively.

The results suggest that aripiprazole may be a “treatment option for tantrums in people with Prader-Willi syndrome,” the researchers wrote.

the study, “Aripiprazole treatment of tantrums in Prader-Willi syndrome“in Orvant Journal of Rare Diseases.

The syndrome is a genetic disease that can cause a wide spread group of symptomsThese include learning disabilities, developmental delays, sleep problems, short stature, increased appetite, and overeating, which can lead to weight gain and obesity. It can also cause behavioral challenges, including tantrums, physically acting out, screaming, screaming, and crying.

Aripiprazole, sold as Abilify and Aristada among other names, is an antipsychotic commonly used to treat schizophrenia, tantrums, and other psychiatric symptoms.

The researchers wrote that it was used off-label in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome of behavioral challenges, a type of symptom for which “no reliable treatment recommendations are currently available.” Furthermore, the few reports that exist sometimes contradict each other, as a research study has shown that aripiprazole in fact Exacerbation of aggressiveness, irritability and impulsivity In patients between the ages of 11 and 19 years.

The current study included 10 patients (six men and four women) with a Genetic diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome. Their mean age was 35.8 years, ranged from 25 to 52 years. Seven of the adults had never taken any medication to control behavior or mood. Two of them were taking antipsychotics and antidepressants, and the other was taking antidepressants.

Everyone reached out to their doctors to address tantrums, which they described as “irritability in general and tantrums during conflicts or disagreements.” Depending on the CGI score, tantrums can be accompanied by damaging objects or harming others.

To understand the severity of symptoms, clinicians used the Clinical Global Impression Severity Scale (CGI-S). Two of the patients scored five on the CGI-S scale, meaning they had tantrums more than twice a month and/or damaged things badly but did not harm others. Seven other patients scored six points, meaning they had multiple seizures in a month and/or severely damaged things or harmed others in a non-serious way. One patient scored seven, which means she had multiple tantrums in the month and/or damaged things or seriously hurt others.

Daily treatment with aripiprazole relieved symptoms of seven patients. Of these participants, five took aripiprazole at a dose of 5 mg per day and two took a dose above 10 mg.

To understand the extent of the improvement, the team used it CGI Improvement Scale. Three patients were found to have ‘significantly improved’, and four were found to have ‘significant improvement’. Of these seven patients, two discontinued aripiprazole due to daytime drowsiness. Of the remaining three patients, two experienced only slight improvement, and no one noticed any changes in their temper tantrums.

Overall, the researchers wrote, this means that five or half of the patients were “successfully treated with aripiprazole for tantrums.”

Two of the participants who experienced improvements were either already taking or starting to take sertraline, an antidepressant.

Daytime drowsiness, a known side effect of aripiprazole, occurred in six patients. In two of them, daytime drowsiness was mild, and there was no need to change medication. In the other four patients, the medication was switched to evening. In two, it reduced daytime sleepiness. In the other two, the drug was stopped due to severe daytime drowsiness.

In seven patients who underwent treatment for six months, body mass index (a measure of body fat) was measured before and at the end of treatment. No significant changes were observed (23.76 vs. 23.49 kilograms per square meter).

The researchers concluded that the findings indicate that not only “aripiprazole can lead to reduced symptoms”, but also “the lack of weight gain makes aripiprazole particularly interesting to the syndrome community.”