• Article

Trajectory and predictors of depression and anxiety disorders in mothers with the FMR1 premutation

BACKGROUND: Although the FMR1 premutation is associated with elevated prevalence of psychiatric disorders, the longitudinal course of symptoms has not been established. The present study followed a sample of women with the FMR1 premutation to characterize the incidence, stability, and predictors of mood and anxiety disorders across a 3-year period. METHODS: Participants included 83 women with the FMR1 premutation (mean age = 38.35) who completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders at two time points, 3 years apart. Additional information was obtained regarding demographic, child, and biomedical (e.g., medication, menopause, CGG repeats) factors. RESULTS: We found increased prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety disorders over time, with adverse outcomes predicted by complex interactions among biological, behavioral, and environmental risk factors. Lifetime MDD increased from 46% to 54% and lifetime anxiety disorders increased from 28% to 35%. Mid-range CGG repeats, elevated child problem behaviors, and divorced marital status conveyed elevated risk for psychiatric diagnoses. Primary ovarian insufficiency was highly prevalent (41%) but did not account for elevated rates of psychiatric diagnoses. Medication use was highly reported (41%), particularly in women with MDD or anxiety, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors reported as the most commonly used medication across diagnostic groups. CONCLUSIONS: The elevated prevalence of depression and anxiety in women with the FMR1 premutation is a clear and pressing concern given the frequent occurrence of the FMR1 premutation in the general community and the adverse outcomes-at both individual and systems levels-associated with psychiatric disorders in this population


Roberts, JE., Tonnsen, BL., McCary, LM., Ford, AL., Golden, RN., & Bailey, D. (2016). Trajectory and predictors of depression and anxiety disorders in mothers with the FMR1 premutation. Biological Psychiatry, 79(10), 850-857. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.07.015