T. Winarni, W. Chonchaiya, E. Adams, J. Au, Y. Mu, S.M. Rivera, D.V. Nguyen, and R.J. Hagerman
Sertraline may improve language developmental trajectory in young children with fragile X syndrome: A retrospective chart review.
Autism Research and Treatment 104317:1-8.
Young children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) often experience anxiety, irritability, and hyperactivity related to sensory
hyperarousal. However, there are no medication recommendations with documented efficacy for children under 5 years old of
age with FXS. We examined data through a chart review for 45 children with FXS, 12–50 months old, using the Mullen Scales of
Early Learning (MSEL) for baseline and longitudinal assessments. All children had clinical level of anxiety, language delays based
on MSEL scores, and similar early learning composite (ELC) scores at their first visit to our clinic. Incidence of autism spectrum
disorder (ASD) was similar in both groups. There were 11 children who were treated with sertraline, and these patients were
retrospectively compared to 34 children who were not treated with sertraline by chart review. The baseline assessments were done
at ages ranging from 18 to 44 months (mean 26.9, SD 7.99) and from 12 to 50 months (mean 29.94, SD 8.64) for treated and not
treated groups, respectively. Mean rate of improvement in both expressive and receptive language development was significantly
higher in the group who was treated with sertraline (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0071, resp.). This data supports the need for a controlled
trial of sertraline treatment in young children with FXS.