Mapping self-reports of working memory deficits to executive dysfunction in Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (FMR1) gene premutation carriers asymptomatic for FXTAS

Cary S Kogan, Kim M Cornish
Brain and Cognition 2010, 73 (3): 236-43
Fragile X Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is caused by the silencing of a single gene on the X chromosome, the Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. In recent years, the premutation ("carrier") status has received considerable attention and there is now an emerging consensus that despite intellectual functioning being within the average range premutation males present with subtle executive function impairments that include poor inhibitory control, working memory deficits, and poor planning skills. The ranges of these skills, although not nearly as severe as seen in the full mutation, nonetheless serve to differentiate males with the premutation from males in the unaffected population. In the present study we extend these findings to suggest that behavioral markers, specifically self-report on the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Rating Scales, may serve as a clinically useful indicator or "signature" of the Fragile X Premutation status. We discuss the possibility that this measure provides a means to identify those at greatest risk for developing the newly identified neurodegenerative disorder that affects some premutation males - Fragile X Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS).

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