CogniFit's Science blog: Fragile X Syndrome Can Drastically Impact One’s Cognitive Development

Fragile X Syndrome Can Drastically Impact One’s Cognitive Development

Often defined as thinking, problem solving, concept understanding, information processing and overall intelligence, cognitive development certainly varies from one person to the next.

Unfortunately, those with fragile X syndrome tend to have some cognitive weaknesses. The potential in the long-run can be far lower than that of peers or siblings.

Much like everyone else in the world, someone with fragile X syndrome will have strengths and weaknesses throughout the development. Because of this, it should be no surprise if this person excels in various types of learning.

As you dissect the syndrome and look at it closer, 80% of males with the syndrome are weaker cognitively. Even sadder is the fact that 10-15% of boys tested end up with IQs that are borderline or in the mild mental retardation range. It is not uncommon for many boys to be described as mentally retarded.

It is important to remember there are ways to enhance cognitive development through various mental games and exercises. If one does have a score of 70 or below on an IQ test, which is one facet of mental retardation, it can then be difficult to try to improve this too rapidly.

The disorder is qualified as non-progressive. This means that the disorder is not degenerative. The good news with children who have X syndrome is that they can move forward, not backwards. Patience is crucial though as they will move forward at a slower pace while ending with lower results than normally developing children.

Women and girls who have a cognitive development slower than most and have the full mutation are described as learning disabled. As with boys, they will have an overall intelligence that can be in the lower average range; however, specific strengths and weaknesses will be identifiable. Around 30% of girls with the full mutation will score above 85 on an IQ test while the other 70% are borderline or mild mentally retarded.

One’s cognitive development can also be affected by other issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seizure disorders, anxiety, attention, speech and language disorders or sensory motor problems. And despite the fact that the overall IQ score may be lower than the average child or adult does not mean the affected person cannot go on to achieve great things.

In fact, some of the greatest accomplishments have come from those who never shot above the average IQ score. Just know there will be obstacles to face whether you or someone you know has fragile X syndrome. But there are always medical support, brain training exercises and games that could help overcome the problem.