Prevalence and predictors of subjective memory complaints in adult male carriers of the FMR1 premutation

Rachael Cherie Birch, Darren Robert Hocking, Julian Norman Trollor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the prevalence and predictors of subjective memory complaints among a cohort of male FMR1 premutation (PM) carriers with and without fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Method: Twenty-two PM males (ages 26–80, 7 with FXTAS) and 24 matched controls with normal FMR1 alleles (ages 26–77) completed cross-sectional assessments of subjective memory complaints (memory complaints questionnaire, MAC-Q), objective memory function (Logical Memory subtest from the Wechsler Memory Scale, third edition), and psychiatric symptoms (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales; the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis I Disorders). Results: Although a greater proportion of PM males (36%) endorsed subjective memory complaints compared to controls (21%), formal statistical comparisons failed to reach significance. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that subjective memory complaints were not associated with objective memory performance, but rather were predicted by elevated psychiatric symptoms. The relationship between psychiatric symptoms and subjective complaints found in the PM group was not statistically different to that found in the control group. There were no significant relationships between FMR1 molecular measures (CGG repeat length, FMR1 mRNA level) and measures of subjective memory complaints, objective memory performance, or psychiatric symptoms. Conclusions: In keeping with findings from the general population, this study suggests that subjective ratings of memory performance in PM males are associated with underlying psychological factors rather than cross-sectional objective memory function. However, future longitudinal studies are required to determine whether subjective memory complaints may predict changes in objective memory function over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-848
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 gene (FMR1)
  • fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS)
  • subjective memory complaints


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