In 1991, The NICHD funded studies that allowed researchers to discover the gene that causes fragile x syndrome. This gene is called FMR1, and when it mutates fragile x syndrome is able to develop. Since its discovery, scientists have been able to learn much more about the condition than ever before. Because it is a genetic disorder, the only fragile X syndrome prevention method that exists to date includes obtaining genetic counseling for those who have a family history of the condition. In people who have fragile X syndrome, the defected FMR1 gene can prevent the brain and other parts of the body from growing and functioning properly. According to PubMed Health, Fragile X syndrome is considered an inherited intellectual disability, more commonly referred to as mental retardation. It can exist on many different levels, from moderate to advanced.

Little is known about fragile X syndrome prevention. Many times, the condition goes unnoticed in infancy. While some of the effects may sometimes be present at birth, others are not revealed until puberty. Information provided online by PubMed Health says some signs that may be visible at birth include a large head circumference, noticeable mental retardation, large testicles after the onset of puberty and subtle differences in facial features. Some of the physical traits associated with people who have fragile X syndrome include flat feet, a large body size, a long face, soft skin, a large forehead, over-sized ears and a prominent jaw. Fragile X Syndrome can cause behavior problems to develop as well. Some of these may include a delay in walking or crawling, hand biting and/or clapping, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, delays in speech and habitually avoiding making eye contact with others. Because of these issues, the scientific and medical communities continue searching for answers regarding fragile X syndrome prevention. MedicineNet’s website states that fragile x syndrome appears in every ethnic group and income level. Although there are many symptoms associated with it, impaired intelligence is the most common and noticeable effect of fragile x syndrome.

Fragile x syndrome affects the sexes differently. MedicineNet’s website states that females can show more varied symptoms. For example, some women will experience some degree of mental impairment and others have learning disabilities. Some may even have normal IQ’s. The effects seem to be more extreme in men, with MedicineNet reporting that the majority of boys who have Fragile X syndrome have an IQ of 75 or less. Nobody knows if true fragile X syndrome prevention will ever be a reality. Until fragile X syndrome prevention is achieved, specialized training and education helps affected children achieve their highest possible potential. Even if a cure is not found, scientists are still hoping to discover fragile x syndrome prevention. Until then, effective therapies and medical treatments will continue to be researched.