From Medicineworld.org: Mental retardation
Post natal factors:
Predisposing factors for mental retardation:
Low socio economic status, low birth weight, advanced maternal age and consanguinity of parents are associated with an increased risk for mental retardation in the children.
Symptoms of mental retardation in children:
Children present with learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and short span of attention, distractibility, poor concentration, poor memory, impulsiveness, awkward clumsy movements, disturbed sleep, emotional instability and low frustration tolerance. Associated defects of the bone, muscle, vision, speech and hearing are often found in the mentally handicapped children. Congenital birth defects, apart from the neurological system may be found if the cause if prenatal. Convulsions (fits) are common in the mentally handicapped children.
Diagnosis of Mentally retarded children:
A complete general and neurological examination must be carried out by the physician. IQ testing should be done. Down's syndrome, cretinism and other conditions should be ruled out. Urine tests for metabolic disease like phenylketonuria and galactosemia are done in familial cases of mental retardation. Investigations to rule out hypothyroidism are also done. Radiological investigations like CT and MRI scans are helpful in revealing brain abnormalities like leukodystropies, cerebral atrophy, hydrocephalus, tuberous sclerosis and other conditions.
Prevention of Mental retardation:
Management of mentally retarded children:
The parents should be counseled together. The diagnosis of the child should be fully explained to them, and also the prognosis. Principles of management should be explained in detail. Parental feelings and the home situation should also be discussed. The mentally retarded child needs the same basic care as any other child. Physiotherapy is often also needed. Anticonvulsant treatment is prescribed for seizures. Specific management of metabolic and endocrine disease should be done. The children need warmth, love and appreciation, as well as discipline. Institutionalization should be avoided. Day care centers and schools and integrated schools are useful.
Did you know?
Mental retardation is due to interplay of several biomedical, socio-cultural and psychological factors. It is often difficulty to incriminate only a single factor as the cause of mental retardation. Majority of the cases of mental retardation are idiopathic (no cause can be identified).
Medicineworld.org: Mental retardation
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