The present case report describes an Italian family with three affected probands, who exhibited serious mental disability, which has not been associated with other anomalies, except with slight facial dysmorphism. Molecular multigenic analysis for intellectual disability identified a previously unreported variant, p.Ile1765Met (c.5295C>G) in the SNF domain of the ATRX protein (in exon 24). The identified mutation was found in a hemizygous state in all three affected probands and in a heterozygous state in the asymptomatic mother and the female sibling. With respect to the phenotypic similarities found in the patients with those described in previous studies, the consistency in the mode of inheritance and segregation of the mutation, the variant reported in the present case report may be considered as 'likely pathogenic'. To investigate the hypothesis that the preferential transmission of the ATRX mutation observed in this family reflected a general trend, a meta‑analysis into the segregation of ATRX mutations from published pedigrees, following allelic transmission from mothers who are heterozygous carriers to their offspring, was performed. A preferential transmission of the mutant allele to male offspring (58% of males inherited the mutant allele) was found; however, the bias was not statistically significant (P=0.29; χ2 test).