• Article

Public health literature review of Fragile X syndrome

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this systematic literature review is to describe what is known about fragile X syndrome (FXS) and to identify research gaps. The results can be used to help inform future public health research and provide pediatricians with up-to-date information about the implications of the condition for individuals and their families.

METHODS: An electronic literature search was conducted, guided by a variety of key words. The search focused on 4 areas of both clinical and public health importance: (1) the full mutation phenotype, (2) developmental trajectories across the life span, (3) available interventions and treatments, and (4) impact on the family. A total of 661 articles were examined and 203 were included in the review.

RESULTS: The information is presented in the following categories: developmental profile (cognition, language, functional skills, and transition to adulthood), social-emotional profile (cooccurring psychiatric conditions and behavior problems), medical profile (physical features, seizures, sleep, health problems, and physiologic features), treatment and interventions (educational/behavioral, allied health services, and pharmacologic), and impact on the family (family environment and financial impact). Research gaps also are presented.

CONCLUSIONS: The identification and treatment of FXS remains an important public health and clinical concern. The information presented in this article provides a more robust understanding of FXS and the impact of this complex condition for pediatricians. Despite a wealth of information about the condition, much work remains to fully support affected individuals and their families.


Raspa, M., Wheeler, A. C., & Riley, C. (2017). Public health literature review of Fragile X syndrome. Pediatrics, 139(Suppl 3), S153-S171. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1159C

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