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Infectious agents in the aetiology of mental retardation

  • J. A. Dudgeon

Abstract

It has long been recognized that recovery from any of the bacterial meningitides, treated or untreated, could result in mental retardation. Even if allowance is made for the great differences in the incidence of infectious disease throughout the world we do not know today the impact of infectious disease as a whole as a cause of mental retardation, however that term is defined, even in countries where sound epidemiological and statistical data are available. Nor can we at present determine the aetiology of the great majority of cases of mental retardation (Eichenwald, 1962). Those that appear to be related to acquired and environmental, as opposed to non-genetic, causes may be attributed to “infection” contracted before or soon after birth. But it is important to establish with certainty that a particular case of mental retardation is the direct result of an infectious disease rather than to label it as such on insufficient evidence. We need more precise information on the aetiological role of infectious disease and mental retardation, both mild and severe.

Keywords

Mental Retardation Bacterial Meningitis Mental Handicap Measle Vaccine Congenital Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Royal Society of Medicine 1984

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  • J. A. Dudgeon

There are no affiliations available

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