Carriers of a FMR1 premutation allele (between 55 and 199 CGG repeats) are at risk of developing a wide range of medical, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, including executive dysfunction. These cognitive deficits are often less severe for female premutation carriers compared to male premutation carriers, albeit similar in nature. However, it remains unclear whether female premutation carriers who exhibit executive dysfunction also report verbal learning and memory deficits like those of their male counterparts. Here we employed the CVLT to assess verbal learning and memory function in 19 female premutation carriers, contrasting performance with 19 age- and IQ-matched controls. Group comparisons revealed similar performance during the learning and short delay recall phases of the CVLT. However, after a long delay period, female premutation carriers remembered fewer words for both free and cued recall trials, but not during recognition trials. These findings are consistent with reports for male premutation carriers, and suggest that aspects of long term memory may be adversely affect in a subgroup of premutation carriers with signs of executive dysfunction.
- Executive function
- Verbal memory