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Am J Med Genet. 1988 May-Jun;30(1-2):393-9.

Folic acid treatment of fragile X males: a further study.

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  • 1NYS Institute for Basic Research/OMRDD, Staten Island.


Investigations of the effect of high dose folic acid treatment of fragile X syndrome in males has produced mixed results. However, no study had examined the possible drug effects of folic acid on non-fragile X control males. Therefore, we examined the effect of folic acid on fragile X males using non-fragile X control males. Subjects were assigned randomly to an ABA or BAB design. Duration of either folic acid or placebo condition was 4 months. Folic acid or placebo was given in a double-blind fashion. At the end of each condition, the subjects' behavior was assessed. At the end of the study, parents were asked to complete a questionnaire. Using parents' responses, we examined 22 items on the Autistic Descriptors Checklist and two subscales from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale which corresponded to areas of behavior parents' noted to have shown improvement. We did not find significant differences between fragile X males and control males, within subjects, nor across folic acid and placebo conditions. Thus, our follow-up study confirms and extends our original findings, as well as those of other researchers: namely, that no dramatic changes in behavior result from high dose folic acid. Moreover, subtle improvements observed in earlier investigations were not confirmed.

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