Fragile-X-syndrome (FXS) is the most common type of inherited cognitive impairment. The underlying molecular alteration consists of a CGG-repeat amplification within the FMR-1 gene. The phenotype is only apparent once a threshold in the number of repeats has been exceeded (full mutation). The aim of this study was to characterize the FMR-1 CGG-repeat status in Argentine patients exhibiting mental retardation. A total of 330 blood samples from patients were analyzed by PCR and Southern blot analysis. Initially, DNA from 78 affected individuals were studied by PCR. Since this method is unable to detect high molecular weight alleles, however, we undertook a second approach using the Southern blotting technique to analyze the CGG repeat number and methylation status. Southern blot analysis showed an altered pattern in 14 out of 240 (6%) unrelated patients, with half of them presenting a mosaic pattern. Eight out of 17 families (47%) showed a (suggest deleting highlight). The characteristic FXS pattern was identified in 8/17 families (47%), and in 4 of these families 25% of the individuals presented with a mosaic model. The expansion from pre-mutation to full mutation was shown to occur both at the pre and post zygotic levels. The detection of FXS mutations has allowed us to offer more informed genetic counseling, prenatal diagnosis and reliable patient follow-up.