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Sleep abnormalities in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 — Poster Session I

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • R.M. Reith
  • C.B. Smith


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability and the most common genetic cause of autism (occurring in between 15-60% of cases). Patients with FXS and patients with autism often have significant sleep abnormalities (between 50-80% of patients) (most commonly reduced sleep and decreased sleep efficiency). Sleep is a well-known component of learning and memory formation. Additionally, recent evidence suggests that sleep abnormalities in autistic patients are associated with communication deficits and social behavior abnormalities. Animal models of FXS have been generated by deletion of the Fmr1 gene. We hypothesized that Fmr1 knockout mice would have sleep abnormalities similar to those observed in human FXS patients. We analyzed sleep behavior in two month old Fmr1 KO mice and found that these mice sleep significantly less than control mice (p=0.003). These results establish Fmr1 KO mice as a good model to further examine the role of sleep abnormalities in FXS and how they relate to behavior.

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