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Benoits Son Suffered from Fragile X Syndrome, a Rare Mental Disability

Late wrestler Chris Benoits son suffered from a rare mental disability called Fragile X Syndrome.

He had had a tempestuous argument with his wife Nancy on who should take care of their mentally challenged son only days before he killed them and went on to commit suicide.

An attorney for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Jerry McDevitt says, ''I think it's fair to say that the subject of caring for that child was part of what made their relationship complicated and difficult, and it's something they were both constantly struggling with. We do know it was a source of stress and consternation.

'(She) wanted him to be at home more to care for the kid. She'd say she can't take care of him by herself when he was on the road.'

Fragile X Syndrome is a defect of the X chromosome which causes mild mental retardation. The disorder occurs more frequently and severely among males than females. This condition is the leading known familial cause of mental retardation in the United States.

Language delays, behavioral problems, autism or autistic-like behavior (including poor eye contact and hand-flapping), enlarged external genitalia (macroorchidism), large or prominent ears, hyperactivity, delayed motor development and/or poor sensory skills are among the wide range of symptoms associated with this disorder.

Winthrope, whose son also suffers from the condition, told the Canadian radio News 1130 that her husband had tried to reach out to Benoit five years ago in an attempt to increase awareness about Fragile X.

She said, 'We talked to him because I was trying to set up a support group in BC and in Canada, we only have a couple of them. My husband was struggling when we got diagnosed with our son, and Chris was struggling with his. They talked for a few minutes and then he said he didn't want to be a public face for Fragile X, he just wanted to keep it really, really quiet.'

Winthrope noted that the lack of support for those affected by the disorder can tear families apart.

Benoit might have felt he was saving his son from the double-blow of losing his parents through a murder-suicide and being subject to being raised by people who didn't understand or care for his condition, it is felt.

Meanwhile, Fayette County authorities are investigating a link between Benoit and a Florida business that may have supplied him with anabolic steroids.

Benoit received drug deliveries from Signature Pharmacy and, a Florida business that sold steroids, human growth hormone and testosterone on the Internet, Albany County, N.Y., District Attorney David Soares said in a statement Wednesday.

'As we have seen, the effects of this type of drug abuse can have devastating effects on individuals and their families, and we will continue to prosecute all those who illegally distribute narcotics and controlled substances to Albany citizens,' he said in the statement.

Six people, including two of the pharmacy's owners, have pleaded guilty in the investigation, and 20 more have been arrested, including doctors and pharmacists.


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