High-risk fragile x screening in Guatemala: use of a new blood spot polymerase chain reaction technique.

Jennifer Yuhas, Paulina Walichiewicz, Ruiqin Pan, Wenting Zhang, E. Melina Casillas, Randi J Hagerman, Flora Tassone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Because fragile X syndrome (FXS) is prevalent, it has become the subject of newborn and high-risk screening efforts. International screening, however, can be financially and logistically prohibitive, particularly in countries where resources may be scarce. Recently, we have developed a screening test on blood spot that can detect expanded alleles from the normal through the full mutation range in both males and females. It is accurate, rapid, inexpensive, and applicable on blood spots and therefore ideal for international screening. The use of this blood spot screening technique was piloted in "a high-risk screening" study of individuals in Guatemala. METHODS: One hundred and five blood spots from subjects from Guatemala were screened for the Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 mutation. They were classified as "high-risk" through placement into one of the following five categories: (a) relatives of someone with a previous FXS diagnosis, (b) individuals with confirmed autism, (c) individuals with confirmed intellectual disability, (d) individuals with Parkinson's-like presentation, and (e) individuals with a family history of intellectual disability but no confirmed cases of FXS. RESULTS: Fifteen of the individuals tested yielded an expanded allele, 10 premutations and 5 full mutations. All 15 expansions were found in individuals with a relative with a confirmed FXS diagnosis. No expansions were found in the other clinical groups. CONCLUSIONS: Blood spot polymerase chain reaction screening is an effective, cost-efficient method to conduct cascade testing in families with a known history of FXS, even in small screening cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-859
Number of pages5
JournalGenetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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