Fragile X syndrome - From genes to cognition

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62 Scopus citations


Fragile X syndrome (FXS), a single gene disorder with an expanded CGG allele on the X chromosome, is the most common form of inherited cognitive impairment. The cognitive deficit ranges from mild learning disabilities to severe intellectual disability. The phenotype includes hyperactivity, short attention span, emotional problems including anxiety, social avoidance, poor eye contact, and hyperarousal to sensory stimuli. Imaging studies in FXS have clarified the impact of the FMR1 mutation on brain development and function by documenting structural abnormalities, predominantly in the caudate nucleus and cerebellum, and functional deficits in the caudate, frontal-striatal circuits, and the limbic system. On the basis of current research results, a targeted treatment for FXS will be available in the near future. Currently, a number of psychopharmacological agents are helpful in treating many of the problems in FXS including hyperactivity, attention deficits, anxiety, episodic aggression, and hyperarousal. Although the targeted treatments aim at strengthening synaptic connections, it is essential that these treatments are combined with learning programs that address the cognitive deficits in FXS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Cognitive profile
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Targeted treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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