Mental retardation ( mental retardation ) - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment .MF .

August 12, 2017 17:52 | Mental Disorders

What associations do you have when you hear the phrase "mental retardation"?Probably not very pleasant.Knowledge of most people about the disease based on popular movies and television shows, where reality is often distorted for the sake of entertainment, as well as the stories of others.You do not often see patients with severe mental retardation in our familiar surroundings - often they are isolated from society (although in Europe and the United States these people are integrated into society and are often to be found in everyday life, which sometimes gives a false picture of the supposedly greater prevalence of mental retardationin these countries).Many of us are faced with mentally retarded people without knowing it, because to draw a distinction between the mentally retarded and healthy person quite difficult when mild this disease.

From the point of view of the doctor, mental retardation - the disease, the main condition which is either congenital or acquired (a child under the age of 3 years)

decrease in intelligence.This largely reduces the capacity for abstract thought (that it is the basis of mathematical abilities, logic and even art).Emotional sphere with virtually no suffering - ie,Patients with mental retardation feelings of sympathy and antipathy, joy and sorrow, grief and joy, perhaps the emotions of mentally retarded people is not as multifaceted and complex as in people with normal intelligence.Importantly, mental retardation has no tendency to progression - i.e.the level of underdevelopment of intelligence is stable, and sometimes even the intelligence increases with time under the influence of training.This is one of the important differences of mental retardation from dementia - a condition characterized by a decrease in intelligence and arising as a complication of various diseases (stroke, head trauma, severe infections, alcoholism and drug addiction, severe mental illness) as well as in the elderly.Patients with dementia over time intelligence condition worsens.
Another name for mental retardation - mental retardation (from the Latin "oligo" - small and "frenos" - mind).

Causes of mental retardation

possible causes of mental retardation are quite a few, not all of them quite understood.It was found that the mental retardation is caused by a decrease of intelligence organic brain damage, and, unfortunately, not always with precision can say why there was this defeat in an individual patient.It is believed that the most common causes of mental retardation - a genetic predisposition, as well as the harmful factors affecting the mother during pregnancy, for example, drugs (certain antibiotics, birth control pills), alcohol and drugs, infections (especially viral, such as rubella,flu).Some diseases that have been a woman before pregnancy, can trigger mental retardation in the child.This infection (toxoplasmosis, syphilis, hepatitis), diabetes, heart disease.

Causes of mental retardation and can become severe morning sickness during pregnancy, Rh-conflict, the pathology of the placenta.The risk factor of mental retardation are prematurity, rapid delivery, birth trauma.That's why every woman should be examined by a doctor before planning pregnancy and child waiting period it is necessary to be especially attentive to their health.

Yes and men is also a concern - there are studies showing that long-term use of alcohol or drugs increases the chances of a man to father a child Oligophrenic.Moreover, occupational hazards faced by the parents, can also serve as a risk factor for mental retardation children.This primarily relates to radiation and aggressive chemical agents.

Symptoms of mental retardation

As you know, the main symptom of mental retardation is a decrease of intelligence.Depending on the degree of reduction of intelligence distinguish mild, moderate and severe mental retardation.

When mild mental retardation (another name - debility) IQ of 50-69 patients.Externally, these patients do not differ from healthy individuals.They usually have difficulty in training due to a reduced ability to concentrate.At the same time the memory of them is good enough.Often patients with mild mental retardation have behavioral disorders.They are dependent on their parents or caregivers, frightens them a change of scenery.Sometimes patients become withdrawn (as poorly recognize other people's emotions, so have difficulty in communicating).And sometimes, on the contrary, are trying to attract the attention of a variety of bright deeds, usually absurd and sometimes antisocial.Suggestibility patients with mild mental retardation can bring to them the representatives of the criminal world, then they become a victim of fraud, enjoy a toy in the hands of criminals.Almost all of the patients in this group are aware of the difference from healthy people and trying to conceal their disease.

When moderate mental retardation (or imbecility) IQ of 35-49.Such patients are able to experience affection, to distinguish between praise and punishment, they can teach the basic skills of self-service, and sometimes reading, writing, simple bill.However, to live independently, and they can not require constant monitoring and care.

Severe mental retardation or idiocy characterized IQ below 34. These are uneducable patients, they do not have it, their movements clumsy and unfocused.Emotions are limited to the simplest manifestations of pleasure and pain.These patients need constant supervision and are in special institutions.

IQ is important, but not the sole criterion of mental retardation.In addition, there are cases when people with low IQ showed no signs of mental retardation.Besides IQ doctor evaluates the patient's household skills, a general state of mind, the level of social adaptation, past illnesses.And only on the basis of complex traits possible to make a diagnosis of mental retardation.

Oligophrenia in childhood, infancy, a child may manifest developmental delays, which can be identified with timely visit to the pediatrician.In preschool institutions in a child with mental retardation usually have problems with adaptation in a group of other children, it is difficult to observe the regime of the day, sessions conducted educator are often too complex for such a child.At school age, parents should alert a high degree of inattention and restlessness, fatigue, bad behavior and academic performance.It is necessary to keep in touch with teachers who can promptly recommend to the parents turn to child neuropsychiatrist and a psychologist.Also in oligophrenia uncommon and neurological abnormalities - tics, partial paralysis of the limbs, seizures, headaches.Typically, these symptoms do not remain without attention and the parents are the reason for seeking a neurologist.

survey with mental retardation

Most of the cases of mental retardation can not recognize at an early age.Mental retardation caused by genetic factors, can be detected even during pregnancy (eg, Down syndrome).To this end, prenatal screening is conducted pregnant women in the early stages, which makes it possible to decide on the retention or termination of pregnancy.In the hospital for early diagnosis of certain genetic disorders that lead to mental retardation, is also used screening tests.

Some forms of mental retardation occur due to underdevelopment of a certain enzyme system in children.The most common disease of this group - phenylketonuria.At birth, children with phenylketonuria are no different from normal, but in the first months of life, they are characterized by lethargy, frequent vomiting, skin rash, excessive sweating with a specific unpleasant smell.When treatment started before 2-3 months of age can not save children's intelligence.Therefore, it is important to observe the pediatrician in the neonatal period and early childhood.

Pediatrician with baby examination with suspected mental retardation appoint consultation neurologist, blood and urine tests may EEG.Survey older children includes consultation of psychologist, child neuropsychiatrist or psychiatrist.

With time begun treatment in the vast majority of cases it is possible to achieve a good adaptation of the child to follow an independent life.But self-medication and self-diagnosis can lead to tragic consequences - would be lost time, which is so expensive is valued when it comes to the treatment of children.In addition, under the guise of mental retardation may be lurking and other diseases - eg, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, various mental illnesses.

lag in the development of a child under the age of 1 year, necessarily require the attention of specialists - at least a pediatrician and neurologist.Of course, not always a child, growing slower than their peers, is mentally retarded.Studies show that about 10% of children, seriously lag behind their peers in development, they had later mental retardation.

Treatment of mental retardation

Today there are many drugs for the treatment of mental retardation and to choose the most appropriate medication can only physician.Depending on the cause of the disease, it may be drugs or hormones iodine (if mental retardation is caused by thyroid disease).In the case of phenylketonuria is quite a special diet, which will appoint a pediatrician.

often for the correction of mental retardation doctors use nootropics - all known piracetam and Aminalon, encephabol, Pantogamum.The purpose of the use of neuroprotective drugs is to improve the metabolic processes in the brain tissue.With the same purpose in the treatment of mental retardation using B vitamins and amino acids necessary for normal brain function (glutamic and succinic acid, cerebrolysin).These drugs are sold without a prescription, but the feasibility of their admission should be determined by the expert.

Occasionally, patients with mental retardation observed behavioral disturbances, while a psychiatrist may pick up medication from the group neuroleptics or tranquilizers .

key to successful treatment of mental retardation is a complex effect, ie,application not only medicines but also an individual approach to training sessions with psychologists and speech therapists - all necessary for a successful adaptation in society.Observe the dosage of drugs prescribed by a physician, and with the appearance of new symptoms promptly come to the reception.For example, in the treatment of nootropics can appear irritability and headaches, in which case you should contact your doctor to decide on the replacement of the drug or change doses.

In folk medicine instead of neuroprotective drugs used medicinal plants with activating influence on the nervous system.This ginseng, Chinese magnolia vine, aloe.It should be remembered that the use of stimulants with mental retardation can cause psychosis and gross violations of conduct, so before use of traditional medicine is best to consult with your doctor.

Social rehabilitation is an essential component of care for patients with mental retardation.First of all rehabilitation programs are aimed at ensuring the employment of patients with mild mental retardation.For this purpose there are specialized schools, where possible training on the adapted curriculum, and then - the development of simple occupations, such as the building trades house painter, plasterer, carpenter, etc.

Mild mental retardation timely and proper treatment is possible to achieve good results - many patients with mild mental retardation are independent, have a career and a family.At the same time, in the absence of a proper education, rehabilitation measures and medical care, Oligophrenic become antisocial personalities - abuse alcohol, are parties to criminal histories, may be a public danger.As for the moderate and severe forms of mental retardation, the objectives of health and social care for these patients is to ensure the care and supervision, and if necessary - health monitoring.

Prevention of mental retardation

Prevention of mental retardation based on a serious approach to their health and the health of future generations.Before planning pregnancy, the couple is desirable to pass the examination of experts to identify infectious and chronic diseases, genetics counseling is sometimes required.A pregnant woman should be aware of the responsibility for the health of their unborn child.It is necessary to conduct a correct way of life, to avoid the influence of harmful factors, regularly attend antenatal clinics and clearly follow the recommendations of a gynecologist.After giving birth, parents should make contact with the pediatrician to perform all scheduled examinations.In case of suspicion of mental retardation in the child need time to consult a specialist and start treatment.Some parents are in the power of prejudice in relation to the neuropsychiatrist and a psychiatrist, and try to avoid visiting these professionals, even when there are serious indications, thereby causing irreparable damage to the health and future of their children.Fortunately, there has recently been a tendency to increase health literacy, and such situations are rare.

Psychiatrist Bochkareva O.S