Autistic behaviors among girls with fragile X syndrome

Michèle M.M. Mazzocco, Wendy R. Kates, Thomas L. Baumgardner, Lisa S. Freund, Allan L. Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Reports of autistic behaviors were examined for 30 school-age girls with fragile X (fraX) and 31 age- and IQ-matched controls through a structured interview administered to each girl's parent(s). IQ scores were obtained for each participant; anxiety, neuroanatomical, and molecular-genetic data were derived for girls with fraX. Girls with fraX had significantly more autistic behaviors than controls. These behaviors were qualitatively similar to those reported for boys with fraX, but were not correlated with IQ. Anxiety in girls with fraX was positively correlated with abnormal social and communication behaviors; posterior cerebellar vermis area was negatively correlated with measures of communication and stereotypic/restricted behaviors. Severity of stereotypic/restricted behaviors was negatively correlated with the prevalence of active non-fraX chromosomes. Thus anxiety and posterior cerebellar area measures had distinct associations with subsets of autistic behaviors; these associations may have important implications for understanding the neurobiology of autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-435
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1A portion of this research was presented at the 4th Consensus for Biological Bases and Clinical Perspectives on Autism, in Troina, Sicily, October 6, 1995. This research was supported by the following grants from the National Institutes of Health: Grants 5 K02 MH01142-02, 5 RO1 MH50047-03, and 5 RO3 MH52311-02 from the National Institute of Mental Health; and grants HD31715-02 and P50 HD25806 from the NICHD. 2Address all correspondence to Michele Mazzocco, Behavioral Neurogenetics and Neuroi-maging Research Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, 707 N. Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland.

Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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