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Am J Med Genet. 1996 Aug 9;64(2):356-61.

Longitudinal study of cognitive abilities and adaptive behavior levels in fragile X males: a prospective multicenter analysis.

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Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA.


Retrospective longitudinal studies have noted declines in IQ scores in many but not all fra(X) (fragile X) males and females. We report on a prospective investigation of longitudinal changes in cognitive ability (IQ) and adaptive behavior (DQ) in 24 fra(X) males from four test sites. Individuals who were tested ranged in age from 3-15 years. To determine cognitive ability, all males were administered the Stanford-Binet test (4th Edition). To assess adaptive behavior, all males were evaluated using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Mean interest interval was 2.3 years. Using identical DNA protocols, all subjects were identified as bearing the fra(X) mutation. Results showed declines in IQ scores in 18/24 (75%) males. Four males showed no change in scores. Declines in DQ scores were noted in 22/24 (92%) of those tested. DQ scores were higher than IQ scores in 20/24 (83%) subjects. From a descriptive cohort analysis, decreases in IQ scores appear to follow a well-defined, negatively decelerating function. Declines in DQ were steeper and more nearly linear. Declining scores are not indicative of regression of intellectual and/or social skills, but of a relative inability to keep pace with their age-normed cohort. We conclude that the fra(X) mutation affects cognitive abilities in a uniform, nonlinear manner comparable to outcomes observed in earlier retrospective studies. Adaptive behavior also declines, but in a more linear fashion.

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