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Risk of cognitive impairment in female premutation carriers of fragile X premutation: Analysis by means of robust segmented linear regression models

Authors


  • Please cite this article as follows: Mínguez M, Ibáñez B, Ribate M-P, Ramos F, García-Alegría E, Fernández-Rivas A, Ruiz-Parra E, Poch M, Alonso A, Martinez-Bouzas C, Beristain E, Tejada MI. 2009. Risk of cognitive impairment in female premutation carriers of fragile X premutation: Analysis by means of robust segmented linear regression models. Am J Med Genet Part B 150B:262–270.

Abstract

This report describes a study focused on the relationship between CGG repeat length, FMRP, mRNA levels and cognitive functioning in premutation carriers (PM) carriers of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). We studied 60 females—43 with PM and 17 with normal (N) alleles—from 25 FXS Spanish families. The Wechsler scales were administered to all subjects and new blood samples and hair roots were taken to study mRNA and FMRP levels. Using lowess curves together with segmented models we showed that within the premutation range, IQ scores tend to decrease when the number of CGG repeats increases and the FMRP values decrease. Furthermore, we discovered cut-off points in the molecular variables that seem to change the probability of having some cognitive impairment. Specifically, for those PM females in the upper premutation range (CGG ≥ 100) and with FMRP expression < 60% in hair roots, a 10% decrement of FMRP expression represents a significant decrease in IQ scores of about six points, which is more evident for Full-Scale IQ (P-value = 0.035) and Performance IQ (P-value = 0.045) than for Verbal IQ (P-value = 0.074). On the contrary, we did not find any significant correlation between FMR1 mRNA levels and the IQ scores, probably due to the fact that mRNA levels were measured in blood. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the PM can have some effect on cognitive ability in female carriers, although these effects may be subtle. In these cases, it would be advisable to carry out a hair root analysis of FMRP. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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