Mental retardation


What is mental retardation and debility?

On the mental backwardness of man was mentioned even in the Talmud. However, it was only in 1905 that a basis was created for diagnosing and assessing mental retardation. The average IQ in a normal person is 100 points. Easy mental retardation is diagnosed with an intelligence ratio of 50-55 to 70 points. On average, one out of 200 newborns is mentally retarded. Degeneracy is a delay in mental development, a relatively light degree of oligophrenia. Morons are capable of learning, sometimes with good mechanical memory, assiduity and over-wise parents achieve good results in their studies.

Mental retardation is a frequent enough deviation, especially common are dementia and oligophrenia.

Symptoms of mental retardation

  • Delay in the formation of motor skills.
  • Violation of the coordination of movement.
  • Fear of strangers and unknown surroundings.

Causes of mental retardation

Mental retardation is not a specific disease. Therefore, there is no single cause of this disorder, and the course and prognosis of the disease are also different. Only 20-30% of mentally retarded people manage to establish the cause of mental retardation. These causes are divided into three groups depending on the time of occurrence - prenatal (intrauterine), perinatal (in the period of delivery) and postnatal (after birth).

Antenatal damage

Prenatal lesions are divided into hereditary or acquired mental retardation. The main causes of acquired mental retardation are intoxication or infection. For example, if a mother suffered a rubella during pregnancy, the child may be mentally retarded. Dangerous for the fetus and various poisoning, for example, smoking and drinking alcohol, drugs or drugs during pregnancy. Influence on the fetus has a variety of radiation. A common cause of debility is hereditary diseases.

Defeat in childbirth

A frequent complication in childbirth is hypoxia. It occurs when a child is born with an umbilical cord wrapped around the neck or starts to breathe too late. Due to lack of oxygen, brain damage is possible, which can cause mental retardation of the child.

Damage after birth

Possible causes of mental retardation after birth are various infectious diseases.

Pregnant women should avoid infectious diseases, do not drink alcohol, do not smoke, and take medicine only as prescribed by the doctor.

Dementia is a consequence of degenerative processes that arise in diseases of the brain. The cause of dementia can be brain trauma, inflammation of the brain and meninges, atherosclerosis or Alzheimer's disease. The cause of oligophrenia can be established in 1/4 of patients.

The causes of congenital mental retardation can also be:

  • Genetically caused metabolic disorders, for example, phenylketonuria, in the second year of life convulsive seizures begin. In the absence of treatment during puberty, the level of intelligence is below average.
  • Congenital metabolic disorders and other hereditary diseases, for example, galactosemia.
  • Disturbance of the function of endocrine glands. The main manifestation of this disorder is cretinism, caused by iodine deficiency and a decrease in thyroid function in a woman during pregnancy. Such mothers have children without a thyroid gland or with an underdeveloped gland. Lack of timely treatment leads to severe disabilities of the child's physical and mental development.
  • Chromosomal diseases. The most common disease of this group is Down syndrome caused by trisomy over the 21st pair of chromosomes. The older the woman, the higher the probability of having a child with this anomaly.
  • Anomalies of chromosomes. Revealed in 6-10% of cases in children with mental retardation and other developmental disorders. With the development of genetics and molecular biology, new chromosome anomalies are found that cause the development of mental retardation in children. These diseases can be inherited.
  • Disturbances due to anomalies of sex chromosomes. In this case, the child can manifest not only dementia, but also a violation of physical development.
  • Infectious diseases during pregnancy.
  • Deficiency of oxygen. If during childbirth or childbirth the child experiences oxygen starvation, it can lead to irreversible changes in the brain, as a result of which the nervous tissue is destroyed, the development of the child is disrupted. This condition is especially dangerous for premature newborns with a low body weight (less than 1500 g).
  • Diseases of the brain, suffered in infancy and childhood. Often the brain damage is observed with measles and whooping cough.
  • The lack of human heat and participation, inadequate stimulation and other unfavorable factors can also adversely affect the formation of the child's intelligence. However, in a greater degree this affects the rate of development of the intellect. Constant communication and stimulation of the child often allow you to overcome mental retardation.

Intellect level

he IQ is during the special testing the established ratio of intellectual age (IW) and human age (HF). The test results are evaluated according to the average intelligence typical for this age group of people, according to the formula IQ = IV / HF x 100.

  • Q <69 - the lowest (mental retardation).
  • IQ = 70-79 - very low.
  • IQ = 80-89 is low.
  • IQ = 90-109 is the average.
  • IQ = 110-119 - high.
  • IQ = 120-129 - very high.
  • IQ> 130 is the highest.

Today, many different tests for intelligence have been created, their scale may be slightly different. Here is the most common gradation of the level of intelligence.

Degree of mental retardation

The degree of mental retardation is also determined with the help of an intelligence factor (IQ):

  • IQ = 50-69 is an easy form of mental retardation.
  • IQ = 35-49 - moderate.
  • IQ = 20-34 - severe form.

Manifestation of debility

Degeneracy is an easy form of congenital dementia, manifested in 3-4 years of life. The child in this case can be mobile, stubborn and completely unbearable. He gives in to suggestion, imitates others, but is not able to think logically, has weak erudition and a low level of abstract thinking.

In the presence of relatives with mental retardation, before planning pregnancy, contact the Center for Genetics and find out the probability of mental retardation in a future child.

Treatment of mental retardation

With certain metabolic disorders, adherence to a special diet helps. If this deviation is detected in a timely manner, the child develops normally. Children whose thyroid function is impaired need to prescribe thyroid hormone as soon as possible. Thanks to this hormone, the child's condition is stabilized, however, the pathological processes that hit the baby, unfortunately, will remain irreversible. In some cases, with mental retardation, individual approach to the upbringing of the child brings positive results. The success of treatment depends on the degree of mental retardation and the qualifications of the therapist.


1. Hallucinations