Psychiatric disorders associated with FXTAS

Andreea L. Seritan, Melina Ortigas, Stefan Seritan, James A. Bourgeois, Randi J Hagerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Carriers of the FMR1 premutation (with 55-200 CGG repeats) may present with multiple medical and psychiatric disorders. Middle-aged carriers (males more often than females) may suffer from fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). FXTAS is a newly discovered neurodegenerative disease characterized by intention tremor and ataxia, along with several other neurological features. Psychiatric manifestations are common in permutation carriers of both genders and include attention deficits, anxiety, depression, irritability, impulse dyscontrol, and substance abuse or dependence. Major depressive disorder, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and specific phobia are among the psychiatric diagnoses often encountered in permutation carriers, including those with FXTAS. Later in the course of the illness, cognitive deficits (including dementia) may occur. In this paper, we discuss common psychiatric phenotypes in FXTAS, based on a thorough review of the literature, as well as our own research experience. Symptomatic pharmacologic treatments are available, although disease modifying agents have not yet been developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • FMR1 premutation
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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