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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2001 Dec;22(6):353-9.

No widespread psychological effect of the fragile X premutation in childhood: evidence from a preliminary controlled study.

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Math Skills Development Project, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21211, USA.


This study was designed to examine the effect of the fragile X premutation (pM) on cognitive function and behavior. Participants included 14 children (7 males, 7 females) with the fragile X pM and 14 children without the fragile X pM (and without the fragile X full mutation [fM]), each of whom was matched by age and gender with one of the participants from the pM group. The children ranged in age from 3 years, 1 month, to 17 years, 11 months. Participants were individually administered measures of intellectual functioning, academic achievement, and visual motor integration. Parent rating scales of problem behaviors were completed. Group differences were examined using nonparametric statistics. No statistically significant differences were found between the premutation and nonpremutation groups. The results from this study are consistent with the hypothesis that the premutation does not, in general, have an effect on a child's development. However, this does not preclude cases where specific factors may lead to a specific phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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