Studies of adult female carriers of the fragile X chromosome indicate that certain psychological problems occur with a greater frequency and severity than expected. This study examines the association of parental origin of the fragile X chromosome and of fragility detected in the karyotype with measures of social, educational, and psychological functioning in a group of adult fragile X females of normal intelligence. The results show that, as a group, women who inherit the fragile X chromosome from their mother and who demonstrate positive fragility in the karyotype (MI+ group = [maternal inheritance with positive fragility]) manifest significantly more impairment of social, educational, and psychological functioning when compared with fragile X females with paternal inheritance or negative fragility or with a matched control group comprising non-fragile X women. In particular, MI+ women show lower levels of both educational achievement and socioeconomic status and a greater degree of disturbance in communication, socialization, affect, and thought processes. These clinical findings are consistent with the recently advanced hypothesis which proposes that a two-stage process leading to chromosome imprinting in a preoogonial cell causes the fragile X syndrome.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||American Journal of Human Genetics|
|State||Published - 1989|