CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fragile X syndrome. Light micrograph of the chromosomes of a person with fragile X syndrome, a genetic cause of mental retardation. The syndrome is caused by a fault in a gene that codes for a protein necessary for brain development. The X chromosome that carries the gene, has a constriction near its tip that makes it fragile and prone to fracture. Symptoms include mental impairment, hyperactivity, a long face, flat feet and lack of muscle tone. Males are more severely affected as they have only one X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes and so the healthy chromosome can compensate for the damaged one.
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