Abstract

Memory and attention processing were examined in a group of 15 adult Fragile-X syndrome (FXS) males with Fragile-X mental retardation 1 (FMR-1) full mutation and compared to two control groups: a learning disabled (LD) control and a normal functioning control. Performance was assessed across a wide range of tasks including working memory, recognition memory, selective attention, sustained attention, and attentional switching. All three groups performed at a comparable level on recognition memory tasks, and the Fragile-X males and LD control group performed worse than the control group on tasks of working memory and sustained attention. On a task of executive function, the Fragile-X males demonstrated a significant deficit in comparison to the LD control group and the normal control group, but performed better than the LD control group and at a comparable level to the control group on tasks of selective attention. Molecular analyses of the lymphocyte DNA provided little evidence for a correlation between expansion size and performance on tasks of memory and attention. The findings from the present study are discussed in the context of functional neuroimaging and brain-behavior-molecular correlates.

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