Psychiatric and autistic comorbidity in fragile X syndrome across ages

J Child Neurol. 2011 Aug;26(8):940-8. doi: 10.1177/0883073810395937. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Fragile X syndrome is caused by CGG trinucleotide repeat expansion within the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene, when repeat number exceeds 200. The typical psychiatric profile of fragile X syndrome patients includes cognitive and behavioral deficits, psychiatric comorbidity, and autistic characteristics. Specific psychiatric features have not yet been clarified, specifically in relationship to age and genetic characteristics. The objective of this study was to characterize psychiatric comorbidities in subjects with fragile X syndrome at different ages. Subjects with fragile X syndrome and their unaffected siblings were recruited and their parents filled out functional-behavioral and psychiatric comorbidities questionnaires. Adolescents with fragile X syndrome showed decreased prevalence of functional-behavioral deficits. Incidence and severity of most psychiatric comorbidities were lower in older subjects. Incidence of generalized anxiety disorder increased with age in the fragile X syndrome group. The typical profile of patients with fragile X syndrome changes with age. Unaffected siblings exhibit anxiety and motor tics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / genetics
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Fragile X Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Fragile X Syndrome / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Siblings / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tics / epidemiology
  • Tics / genetics