fragile x syndrome
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2022 ◽  
Sahar Javadi ◽  
Yue Li ◽  
Jie Shen ◽  
Lucy Zhao ◽  
Yao Fu ◽  

Background: Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most prevalent inherited intellectual disability and one of the most common monogenic form of autism, is caused by a loss of FMRP translational regulator 1 (FMR1). We have previously shown that FMR1 represses the levels and activities of ubiquitin ligase MDM2 in young adult FMR1-deficient mice and treatment by a MDM2 inhibitor Nutlin-3 rescues both hippocampal neurogenic and cognitive deficits in FMR1-deficient mice when analyzed shortly after the administration. However, it is unknown whether Nutlin-3 treatment can have long-lasting therapeutic effects. Methods: We treated 2-month-old young adult FMR1-deficient mice with Nutlin-3 for 10 days and then assessed the persistent effect of Nutlin-3 on both cognitive functions and adult neurogenesis when mice were 6-month-old mature adults. To investigate the mechanisms underlying persistent effects of Nutlin-3, we analyzed proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells isolated from these mice and assessed the transcriptome of the hippocampal tissues of treated mice. Results: We found that transient treatment with Nutlin-3 of 2-month-old young adult FMR1-deficient mice prevents the emergence of neurogenic and cognitive deficits in mature adult FXS mice at 6-month of age. We further found that the long-lasting restoration of neurogenesis and cognitive function might not be mediated by changing intrinsic properties of adult neural stem cells. Transcriptomic analysis of the hippocampal tissue demonstrated that transient Nultin-3 treatment leads to significant expression changes in genes related to extracellular matrix, secreted factors, and cell membrane proteins in FMR1-deficient hippocampus.

2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
Rebecca Shaffer ◽  
Angela John Thurman ◽  
Lucienne Ronco ◽  
Diego Cadavid ◽  
Shane Raines ◽  

Abstract Background Social communication is a key area of difficulty in fragile X syndrome (FXS) and there are not yet adequate outcome measurement tools. Appropriate outcome measures for FXS have been identified as a key area of research interest in order to evaluate future therapeutic trials. The Brief Observation of Social Communication Change-Minimally Verbal (BOSCC-MV), an outcome measure with strong psychometrics developed for autism spectrum disorder, has promise as an outcome measure to assess social communication change with FXS participants. Methods We examined the BOSCC-MV via central coders in this multi-site-trial to assess its appropriateness for FXS. Eighteen minimally verbal males ages 3–12 years were enrolled and assessed on two consecutive days and 7 participants completed a third visit 6 months later. We examined test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, and both convergent and divergent validity with standard clinical measures including the Autism Diagnostic and Observation Schedule-2, Vineland 3, Social Responsiveness Scale, and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist. Results The BOSCC-MV in FXS demonstrated strong inter-rater and test-retest reliability, comparable to previous trials in idiopathic ASD. Strong convergent validity was found with Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 and Vineland-3. Divergent validity was demonstrated between BOSCC-MV and unrelated measures. Conclusions The BOSCC-MV shows promise as a FXS social communication outcome measure, warranting further large-scale evaluation.

2022 ◽  
Vol 14 ◽  
Xiaopeng Liu ◽  
Vipendra Kumar ◽  
Nien-Pei Tsai ◽  
Benjamin D. Auerbach

Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is a leading inherited cause of autism and intellectual disability, resulting from a mutation in the FMR1 gene and subsequent loss of its protein product FMRP. Despite this simple genetic origin, FXS is a phenotypically complex disorder with a range of physical and neurocognitive disruptions. While numerous molecular and cellular pathways are affected by FMRP loss, there is growing evidence that circuit hyperexcitability may be a common convergence point that can account for many of the wide-ranging phenotypes seen in FXS. The mechanisms for hyperexcitability in FXS include alterations to excitatory synaptic function and connectivity, reduced inhibitory neuron activity, as well as changes to ion channel expression and conductance. However, understanding the impact of FMR1 mutation on circuit function is complicated by the inherent plasticity in neural circuits, which display an array of homeostatic mechanisms to maintain activity near set levels. FMRP is also an important regulator of activity-dependent plasticity in the brain, meaning that dysregulated plasticity can be both a cause and consequence of hyperexcitable networks in FXS. This makes it difficult to separate the direct effects of FMR1 mutation from the myriad and pleiotropic compensatory changes associated with it, both of which are likely to contribute to FXS pathophysiology. Here we will: (1) review evidence for hyperexcitability and homeostatic plasticity phenotypes in FXS models, focusing on similarities/differences across brain regions, cell-types, and developmental time points; (2) examine how excitability and plasticity disruptions interact with each other to ultimately contribute to circuit dysfunction in FXS; and (3) discuss how these synaptic and circuit deficits contribute to disease-relevant behavioral phenotypes like epilepsy and sensory hypersensitivity. Through this discussion of where the current field stands, we aim to introduce perspectives moving forward in FXS research.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Camille Champigny ◽  
Florence Morin-Parent ◽  
Laurence Bellehumeur-Lefebvre ◽  
Artuela Çaku ◽  
Jean-François Lepage ◽  

Background: Limited success of previous clinical trials for Fragile X syndrome (FXS) has led researchers to consider combining different drugs to correct the pleiotropic consequences caused by the absence of the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Here, we report the results of the LovaMiX clinical trial, the first trial for FXS combining two disease-modifying drugs, lovastatin, and minocycline, which have both shown positive effects when used independently.Aim: The main goals of the study were to assess the safety and efficacy of a treatment combining lovastatin and minocycline for patients with FXS.Design: Pilot Phase II open-label clinical trial. Patients with a molecular diagnostic of FXS were first randomized to receive, in two-step titration either lovastatin or minocycline for 8 weeks, followed by dual treatment with lovastatin 40 mg and minocycline 100 mg for 2 weeks. Clinical assessments were performed at the beginning, after 8 weeks of monotherapy, and at week 20 (12 weeks of combined therapy).Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was the Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community (ABC-C) global score. Secondary outcome measures included subscales of the FXS specific ABC-C (ABC-CFX), the Anxiety, Depression, and Mood Scale (ADAMS), the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF), and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale second edition (VABS-II).Results: Twenty-one individuals out of 22 completed the trial. There were no serious adverse events related to the use of either drugs alone or in combination, suggesting good tolerability and safety profile of the combined therapy. Significant improvement was noted on the primary outcome measure with a 40% decrease on ABC-C global score with the combined therapy. Several outcome measures also showed significance.Conclusion: The combination of lovastatin and minocycline is safe in patients for FXS individuals and appears to improve several elements of the behavior. These results set the stage for a larger, placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trial to confirm the beneficial effects of the combined therapy.

Angela John Thurman ◽  
Stephanie Summers Swinehart ◽  
Jessica Klusek ◽  
Jane E. Roberts ◽  
Lauren Bullard ◽  

Abstract By adulthood, most males with fragile X syndrome (FXS) require support to navigate day-to-day settings. The present study cross-sectionally: (1) characterized the profile of daily living skills in males with FXS and (2) examined associated participant characteristics (i.e., fragile X mental retardation protein [FMRP] expression, nonverbal cognition, language, autism symptomatology, and anxiety symptomatology) using the Waisman-Activities of Daily Living questionnaire. Males with FXS (n = 57, ages 15–23 years) needed more help/support in the areas of domestic and community daily livings skills, than in the area of personal daily living skills. Significant associations were observed between reduced daily living skills and lower nonverbal cognition, receptive language, expressive language, and increased autism symptomatology. Receptive language emerged as the strongest unique predictor of daily living skill performance.

2022 ◽  
Vol 162 ◽  
pp. 105577
Maham Rais ◽  
Jonathan W. Lovelace ◽  
Xinghao S. Shuai ◽  
Walker Woodard ◽  
Steven Bishay ◽  

Corinne N. Neal ◽  
Nancy C. Brady ◽  
Kandace K. Fleming

Abstract This study analyzed narratives of male and female adolescents with fragile X syndrome (FXS). The impact of structural language, cognition and autism symptomatology on narrative skills and the association between narratives and literacy were examined. Narratives from 32 adolescents with FXS (24 males, 8 females) were analyzed for macrostructure. Relationships between narrative macrostructure, language scores, cognitive scores, Childhood Autism Rating Scale-Second Edition scores and literacy skills were examined. Males produced more simplistic narratives, whereas the females' narratives were more complex. Language scores predicted narrative scores above and beyond nonverbal cognitive skills and autism symptomatology. Narrative scores correlated with literacy scores. Narrative skills in FXS are predicted by language skills and are correlated with literacy skills. Investigation into narrative interventions in FXS is needed.

2021 ◽  
Vol 4 (12) ◽  
pp. e2141516
Arezoo Movaghar ◽  
David Page ◽  
Murray Brilliant ◽  
Marsha Mailick

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