Sleep problems in fragile X syndrome: Cross-sectional analysis of a large clinic-based cohort

for the FORWARD Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder, is associated with multiple neurobehavioral abnormalities including sleep difficulties. Nonetheless, frequency, severity, and consequences of sleep problems are still unclear. The Fragile X Online Registry with Accessible Research Database (FORWARD-version-3), including Clinician Report and Parent Report forms, was analyzed for frequency, severity, relationship with behavioral problems, and impact of sleep difficulties in a mainly pediatric cohort. A focused evaluation of sleep apnea was also conducted. Six surveyed sleep difficulties were moderately frequent (~23%–46%), relatively mild, affected predominantly younger males, and considered a problem for 7%–20% of families. Snoring was more prevalent in older individuals. All sleep difficulties were associated with irritability/aggression and most also to hyperactivity. Only severe snoring was correlated with sleep apnea (loud snoring: 30%; sleep apnea: 2%–3%). Sleep difficulties are prevalent in children with FXS and, although they tend to be mild, they are associated with behavioral problems and negative impact to families. Because of its cross-sectional nature, clinic-origin, use of ad hoc data collection forms, and lack of treatment data, the present study should be considered foundational for future research aiming at better recognition and management of sleep problems in FXS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1039
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • fragile X syndrome
  • insomnia
  • problem behaviors
  • quality of life
  • sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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