Martin-Bell syndrome; Marker X syndrome
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition involving changes in part of the X chromosome. It is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability (mental retardation) in boys.
Fragile X syndrome is caused by a change in a gene called FMR1. A small part of the gene code is repeated on a fragile area of the X chromosome. The more repeats, the more likely there is to be a problem
The FMR1 gene makes a protein needed for your brain to grow properly. A defect in the gene makes your body produce too little of the protein, or none at all.
Boys and girls can both be affected, but because boys have only one X chromosome, a single fragile X is likely to affect them more severely. You can have Fragile X syndrome even if your parents do not have it.
Physical signs may include:
Some of these problems are present at birth, while others may not develop until after puberty.
Family members who have fewer repeats in the FMR1 gene may not have mental retardation, but may have other problems. Women with less severe changes may have premature menopause or difficulty becoming pregnant. Both men and women may have problems with tremors and poor coordination.
There are very few outward signs of Fragile X syndrome in babies. Some signs may include:
In females, excess shyness may be the only sign of the disorder.
Genetic testing can diagnose this disease.
There is no specific treatment for Fragile X syndrome. Specialized training and education help affected children function at as high a level as possible.
National Fragile X Foundation --
How well the patient does depends on the amount of intellectual disability (mental retardation).
Complications vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms.
Fragile X syndrome can be a cause of autism or related disorders, although not all children with fragile X syndrome have these conditions.
Genetic counseling may be helpful if you have a family history of this syndrome and are planning to become pregnant.
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