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Brain Disord Ther. 2014;3. pii: 1000119.

Molecular Advances Leading to Treatment Implications for Fragile X Premutation Carriers.

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Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute, University of California Davis Health System, Sacramento, California, USA ; Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis Health System, Sacramento, California, USA.


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common single gene cause of intellectual disability and it is characterized by a CGG expansion of more than 200 repeats in the FMR1 gene, leading to methylation of the promoter and gene silencing. The fragile X premutation, characterized by a 55 to 200 CGG repeat expansion, causes health problems and developmental difficulties in some, but not all, carriers. The premutation causes primary ovarian insufficiency in approximately 20% of females, psychiatric problems (including depression and/or anxiety) in approximately 50% of carriers and a neurodegenerative disorder, the fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), in approximately 40% of males and 16% of females later in life. Recent clinical studies in premutation carriers have expanded the health problems that may be seen. Advances in the molecular pathogenesis of the premutation have shown significant mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in neurons which may be amenable to treatment. Here we review the clinical problems of carriers and treatment recommendations.


Aging; Antioxidants; FMR1; FMRP; FXTAS; Fragile X premutation; Oxidative stress; Treatment

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