Klinefelter syndrome is a common cause for mental retardation of unknown etiology among prepubertal males

Clin Genet. 2002 Jan;61(1):49-53. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-0004.2001.610110.x.


Klinefelter syndrome (KS) has not typically been associated with mental retardation (MR), however, in recent years a growing body of evidence suggested that KS boys often experience language deficits and academic difficulties. In this study, we screened DNA samples from 1205 patients originally referred for fragile X syndrome (FRAX) testing, because of MR of unknown etiology and detected 8 KS patients. A similar number of males in the same age group were found to have FRAX; 3 of them had a family history of FRAX. Based on these findings, KS might be the most common cause of MR of unknown etiology among prepubertal males. Because of the significant benefits of early recognition and treatment of KS, we emphasize the importance of cytogenetic testing of all prepubertal males with cognitive impairment even without dysmorphic features.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability / complications*
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / complications*
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / genetics*
  • Male
  • Puberty / physiology