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      Quality of health and health services in people with fragile X syndrome: perspective of their parents

      Advances in Autism
      Emerald Publishing
      Health care, Autism spectrum disorder, Health status, Fragile X syndrome

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          People with fragile X syndrome (FXS), a monogenetic disorder with frequent autism spectrum disorder symptoms, are confronted with many health-related needs, especially concerning behavioural and mental problems. The number of publications about health inequalities or the usage of health services in persons with FXS is scarce in general. There is no information about the situation in Germany. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


          Assessment of health status, access to, and satisfaction with health care in people with fragile X by a questionnaire completed by their parents.


          A total of 74 questionnaires were included in the assessment. While children and adolescents with FXS often (40 per cent) utilised specialised services for the coordination of health-related services, adults most often made use of family doctors. Most parents described the health status of their relatives as good to excellent (89 per cent). However, the satisfaction with health care-related demands by family doctors, medical specialists, and psychotherapists was rated in the average to above average range.

          Research limitations/implications

          This paper is of special value as it gives insight into the perspective of parents concerning access to health care of FXS in Germany.


          This paper gives a first insight concerning access of people with FXS to the German health care system.

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          What can we learn about autism from studying fragile X syndrome?

          Despite early controversy, it is now accepted that a substantial proportion of children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) meets diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This change has led to an increased interest in studying the association of FXS and ASD because of the clinical consequences of their co-occurrence and the implications for a better understanding of ASD in the general population. Here, we review the current knowledge on the behavioral, neurobiological (i.e., neuroimaging), and molecular features of ASD in FXS, as well as the insight into ASD gained from mouse models of FXS. This review covers critical issues such as the selectivity of ASD in disorders associated with intellectual disability, differences between autistic features and ASD diagnosis, and the relationship between ASD and anxiety in FXS patients and animal models. While solid evidence supporting ASD in FXS as a distinctive entity is emerging, neurobiological and molecular data are still scarce. Animal model studies have not been particularly revealing about ASD in FXS either. Nevertheless, recent studies provide intriguing new leads and suggest that a better understanding of the bases of ASD will require the integration of multidisciplinary data from FXS and other genetic disorders. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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            Smith’s recognizable patterns of human malformation

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              Is Open Access

              Cytogenetic abnormalities and fragile-x syndrome in Autism Spectrum Disorder

              Background Autism is a behavioral disorder with impaired social interaction, communication, and repetitive and stereotypic behaviors. About 5–10 % of individuals with autism have 'secondary' autism in which an environmental agent, chromosome abnormality, or single gene disorder can be identified. Ninety percent have idiopathic autism and a major gene has not yet been identified. We have assessed the incidence of chromosome abnormalities and Fragile X syndrome in a population of autistic patients referred to our laboratory. Methods Data was analyzed from 433 patients with autistic traits tested using chromosome analysis and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and/or molecular testing for fragile X syndrome by Southern and PCR methods. Results The median age was 4 years. Sex ratio was 4.5 males to 1 female [354:79]. A chromosome (cs) abnormality was found in 14/421 [3.33 %] cases. The aberrations were: 4/14 [28%] supernumerary markers; 4/14 [28%] deletions; 1/14 [7%] duplication; 3/14 [21%] inversions; 2/14 [14%] translocations. FISH was performed on 23 cases for reasons other than to characterize a previously identified cytogenetic abnormality. All 23 cases were negative. Fragile-X testing by Southern blots and PCR analysis found 7/316 [2.2 %] with an abnormal result. The mutations detected were: a full mutation (fM) and abnormal methylation in 3 [43 %], mosaic mutations with partial methylation of variable clinical significance in 3 [43%] and a permutation carrier [14%]. The frequency of chromosome and fragile-X abnormalities appears to be within the range in reported surveys (cs 4.8-1.7%, FRAX 2–4%). Limitations of our retrospective study include paucity of behavioral diagnostic information, and a specific clinical criterion for testing. Conclusions Twenty-eight percent of chromosome abnormalities detected in our study were subtle; therefore a high resolution cytogenetic study with a scrutiny of 15q11.2q13, 2q37 and Xp23.3 region should be standard practice when the indication is autism. The higher incidence of mosaic fragile-X mutations with partial methylation compared to FRAXA positive population [50% vs 15–40%] suggests that faint bands and variations in the Southern band pattern may occur in autistic patients.

                Author and article information

                Advances in Autism
                Emerald Publishing
                03 July 2017
                : 3
                Issue : 3 Issue title : Improving access to healthcare Issue title : Improving access to healthcare
                : 125-130
                [1]Bielefeld, Germany
                Author notes
                Michael Seidel can be contacted at: ham.seidel@web.de
                596168 AIA-03-2017-0008.pdf AIA-03-2017-0008
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                : 07 March 2017
                : 27 April 2017
                : 11 May 2017
                : 13 May 2017
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 18, Pages: 6, Words: 2815
                Self URI (journal-page): http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/aia.htm
                research-article, Research paper
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-LID, Learning & intellectual disabilities
                Custom metadata

                Health & Social care
                Health care,Autism spectrum disorder,Health status,Fragile X syndrome
                Health & Social care
                Health care, Autism spectrum disorder, Health status, Fragile X syndrome


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