Monash sleep disordered breathing research supported by Prader-Willi Research Foundation of Australia

A/Prof Gillian Nixon's research on sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in children with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) receives philanthropic funding from Prader-Willi Research Foundation of Australia (PWRFA).

Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects the hypothalamus, resulting in changes to the control of hunger, temperature, pain, respiratory control and hormone production.

Disorders of breathing during sleep, known collectively as SDB, are very common in people with PWS. They can result in significant sleep disruption and low oxygen levels, with major impacts on learning, long term health and quality of life. Treatments for PWS, such as growth hormone, may further exacerbate the risk of developing SDB.

With the help of this generous funding from PWRFA's Finding 15 Campaign, A/Prof Nixon, will investigate "breathing control stability" in children with PWS.

"By understanding the stability of breathing control (or lack-thereof) we will learn more about SDB in PWS, and what to do about it. We're excited about this study because it will provide the basis for developing better treatments for SDB and provide a critical bridge linking paediatric research to advances in adult SDB. Importantly, this study draws on the expertise of an extensive network of PWS clinicians from across Australia, led by A/Prof Jenny Downs and Prof Cathy Choong from the Telethon Kids Institute", said A/Prof Nixon.

A/Prof Gillian Nixon is the Head of Paediatric Sleep Research in the Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre at Monash Children’s Hospital and is a researcher in the Sleep and Respiratory group, Department of Paediatrics, Monash University.