Vol. 16 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2022
Original Article Páginas: 105 a 114

Working memory and arithmetic impairments in children with FMR1 premutation and gray zone alleles

Authors Aline Aparecida Silva Martins1,2; Giulia Moreira Paiva3,4; Carolina Guimarães Ramos Matosinho1,2; Elisângela Monteiro Coser5; Pablo Augusto de Souza Fonseca1,2; Vitor Geraldi Haase3,4,6,7,8; Maria Raquel Santos Carvalho1,2


keywords: Learning; Dyscalculia; Working Memory, FMR1.

Expansive mutations in familial mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene have been associated with different phenotypes. Full mutations are associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder; premutations are associated with math learning difficulties and working memory impairments. In gray zone, neuropsychological development has not yet been described.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the frequency of FMR1 premutation and gray zone alleles in a school population sample representing a broad spectrum of variation in math achievement and detail school achievement and cognitive performance in the children identified with FMR1 premutation or gray zone alleles.
METHODS: We described a two-phase study. In the first phase, 2,195 school-age children were screened for math achievement. In the second phase, 378 children with normal intelligence were neuropsychologically assessed and genotyped for FMR1. Of these, 121 children (61 girls) performed below percentile 25 in mathematics (MD group) and 257 children (146 girls) performed above percentile 25 (control group).
RESULTS: Four pupils presented expanded alleles, one premutation and three gray zone alleles. The girl with the premutation and one boy with a gray zone allele presented impairments in working memory and arithmetic performance below percentile 6, compatible with the diagnosis of developmental dyscalculia. These children�?Ts difficulties were not associated with inaccuracy of nonsymbolic number representations or literacy impairments. Dyscalculia in these children seems to be associated mainly with working memory impairments.
CONCLUSIONS: FMR1 expansions in the gray zone may contribute to dyscalculia in otherwise healthy and normally intelligent children.


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