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Executive Function in Fragile X Syndrome: A Systematic Review.


Executive function (EF) supports goal-directed behavior and includes key aspects such as working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, attention, processing speed, and planning. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading inherited monogenic cause of intellectual disability and is phenotypically characterized by EF deficits beyond what is expected given general cognitive impairments. Yet, a systematic review of behavioral studies using performance-based measures is needed to provide a summary of EF deficits across domains in males and females with FXS, discuss clinical and biological correlates of these EF deficits, identify critical limitations in available research, and offer suggestions for future studies in this area. Ultimately, this review aims to advance our understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to EF in FXS and to inform the development of outcome measures of EF and identification of new treatment targets in FXS.

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