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Neurology. 1998 Jan;50(1):121-30.

Decreased cerebellar posterior vermis size in fragile X syndrome: correlation with neurocognitive performance.

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  • 1Kennedy Krieger Institute, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


We examined whether posterior vermis size is smaller in individuals with fragile X syndrome (fra X) than in control subjects and whether this decreased size is associated with cognitive performance. Cognitive and behavioral dysfunctions have been identified in fra X; however, underlying neuropathogenic mechanisms remain unclear. MRI was used to investigate the posterior fossa in 32 males with fra X, 28 males with other causes of cognitive disability (CD), and 38 males with normal development (ND) as well as and in 37 females with fra X and 53 female control subjects. Among females with fra X, neurocognitive correlates of posterior vermis size were examined. Posterior vermis size (cross-sectional area) in males with fra X was significantly smaller compared with CD and ND groups, particularly when corrected for intracranial area. Posterior vermis size corrected for intracranial area was significantly smaller in females with fra X compared with control subjects. Compared with males with fra X and non-fra X control subjects, posterior vermis size in females with fra X was intermediate. After statistically removing the effect of mean parental IQ, posterior vermis size predicted a significant proportion of the variance (10 to 23%) of performance on full-scale, verbal, and performance IQ; block design; categories achieved on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; and the Rey inventory score. The size of the posterior vermis is significantly decreased in fra X, more so in males than in females. In females with fra X, posterior vermis size predicts performance on selected cognitive measures.

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