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Psychiatry Res. 1996 Sep 27;64(2):97-104.

Influence of depression on cognitive functioning in Fragile X females.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 78284-7792, USA.


We sought to determine the frequency of a history of major depression in women with Fragile X syndrome. In addition, we attempted to disentangle the cognitive effects of major depression from those of Fragile X syndrome. Thirty-seven mothers of developmentally delayed children (Fragile X syndrome: n = 18; comparison group n = 19), matched for age, educational level, and socioeconomic status, were administered psychiatric and neuropsychological measures. Women with Fragile X syndrome had a higher frequency of lifetime diagnosis of major depressive disorder (78%) than the comparison group (37%). Mild impairment was seen on visuospatial construction and memory tasks in women with Fragile X syndrome, while women with depression showed subtle deficits in several aspects of visuospatial perception and learning. There was no interaction of Fragile X syndrome and depression in their influence on cognition. The results underscore the importance of considering the influence of depression on cognitive performance in studies of genetic disorders.

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