Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is the most common syndromic type of human obesity. Multiple endocrine abnormalities due to hypothalamic dysfunction as well as cognitive and behavioral disorders occur in PWS. Hypothalamic dysfunction, dysregulated mesocorticolimbic reward system, and impaired prefrontal cortex (PFC) function are implicated in the pathophysiology of hyperphagia and obesity in PWS. All available therapeutic tools have not fully targeted at counteract the mechanisms underlying obesity in PWS. Previously, we demonstrated the safety and efficacy of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in inducing weight loss in obesity by modulating the brain dopaminergic system and enhancing the inhibitory activity of the PFC on eating behaviour (Ferrulli et al, DOM 2019) . In this case-report, for the first time, we tested the efficacy and safety of rTMS in a 23-year-old patient with PWS, in whom repeated interventions aimed at inducing weight loss have failed. A 5-week high frequency (18 Hz) rTMS treatment, associated with diet, resulted in a 3.5% weight loss (127.4 vs. 123 Kg, BMI: 50.4 vs. 48.6 Kg/m2, WHR: 1.14 vs. 1.12) . Concerning the metabolic parameters, an improvement in lipid profile has been shown (CHO/HDL/LDL/TG: 212/40/142/152 vs. 190/40/124/131 mg/dL) . While no significant changes emerged in the psychometric assessment of food craving, impulsiveness, quality of life, self-esteem, interestingly, a robust improvement in the Mini-Mental State Examination score (corrected for age and schooling) has been found [from 22 (severe impairment) to 27 (moderate impairment) ]. The improvement in the cognitive status assessed through the Montreal Cognitive Assessment was weaker (17/30 to 19/30) . In view of the urgent need of novel effective interventions for obesity in PWS, these findings support a potential role of rTMS in reducing food drive and behaviors impacting hyperphagia and obesity in PWS, with a possible impact also on cognitive functions.


A.Ferrulli: None. D.Cannavaro: None. C.Macrì: None. S.Massarini: None. L.Luzi: Advisory Panel; Eli Lilly and Company, Speaker’s Bureau; Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk.


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