Molecular-neurobehavioral associations in females with the fragile X full mutation

M. T. Abrams, A. L. Reiss, L. S. Freund, T. L. Baumgardner, G. A. Chase, M. B. Denckla

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91 Scopus citations


In this study, young females with the fragile X [fra(X)] full mutation (fM) were assessed using quantitative measures of mutation amplification size (Amp) as well as the ratio of active normal X chromosome to total normal X chromosome (activation ratio-AR). Neurobehavioral assessments of females with the fM were performed and included specific and general measures of cognitive and behavioral/developmental functioning. To investigate molecular- behavioral associations, Amp and AR were used as independent variables, while cognitive and behavioral scores were used as dependent variables. Significant correlations were observed between both molecular variables (Amp and AR) and measures of cognitive functioning, with AR showing the most consistent and robust correlations. As AR increased, overall IQ and specific subtest and area scores from the cognitive tests increased. Conversely, as Amp increased, the overall IQ and specific subtest and area cognitive scores decreased. No significant associations were observed between AR or Amp and measures of behavior or development. The molecular-cognitive associations were generally consistent with the cognitive profile previously described in studies comparing females with fra(X) to age-matched controls. Amp and AR were not associated with one another, nor were they associated with the same cluster of cognitive measures. Though this report does not conclusively show that AR and Amp can be used to clinically assess the risk of a female with the fM for cognitive disability, the evidence presented does suggest that these molecular variables, especially AR, reflect important underlying genetic factors contributing to the fra(X) phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of medical genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


  • amplification size
  • behavior
  • fragile X syndrome
  • intelligence
  • methylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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