Mental Retardation: Levels, Causes, & Outlook
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What causes mental retardation? 17 possible conditions

Mental retardation or intellectual disability, (MR/ID), exists in children whose brains do not develop properly or function within the normal range. There are four levels of retardation: mild, moderate, severe, and profound. Sometimes, MR/ID may be... Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome (sometimes spelled "Down's syndrome") is a genetic abnormality. It is the most common single cause of birth defects in the United States.

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2

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is a condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the skull and causes the brain to swell. The name literally means "water on the brain."

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3

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect muscle movement and coordination. Learn about the causes, types, symptoms, and treatment of cerebral palsy.

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4

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body. It is serious and sometimes fatal. Lead can be found in paint, art supplies, and other items. Poisoning may cause severe abdominal pain, seizures, and more.

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5

Fanconi Anemia

Fanconi anemia or FA is a genetic disorder that results in bone marrow failure. It is a recessive gene disorder. This means that in order for you to develop FA, your parents will both have to have the defective FA gene...

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6

Phenylketonuria

Find information on phenylketonuria causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

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7

Muscular Dystrophies

Muscular dystrophies are a group of inherited diseases that damage and weaken your muscles over time. This damage and weakness is due to the lack of a protein.

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8

Homocystinuria

Homocystinuria is an inherited disorder that keeps the body from processing the essential amino acid methionine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

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9

Tuberous Sclerosis

Tuberous sclerosis (TS) is a rare genetic condition. Sometimes called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), the disorder causes noncancerous (benign) tumors to grow in the brain and other vital organs, and on the skin...

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10

Ito Syndrome (Incontinentia Pigementi Achromians)

Ito syndrome (IS) is a rare condition characterized by loss of skin color on certain parts of the body. A serious abnormality associated with it is balding and missing or abnormally shaped teeth and nails.

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11

Acrodysostosis

Genetic changes that occur while the fetus is growing can cause disorders that are present at birth. These are sometimes referred to as "congenital disorders." Acrodysostosis is one such condition, albeit a rare one...

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12

Huntington's Disease

Huntington's disease is a hereditary condition in which your brain's nerve cells gradually break down. It can cause physical and psychological symptoms.

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13

Aarskog Syndrome

Aarskog syndrome is a very rare genetic disorder that can affect a person's stature, facial features, genitalia, muscles, and bones.

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14

Aicardi Syndrome

Aicardi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that interferes with the formation of the corpus collusum, the connector between two hemispheres of the brain. Medical researchers do not believe that the disorder is passe...

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15

Tay-Sachs Disease

Tay-Sachs disease is a neurodegenerative disorder most commonly found in infants. Learn more about this rare disease.

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16

As Rare as it Gets: Chediak Higashi Syndrome

Chediak-Higashi Syndrome is a rare type of albinism that causes problems with your vision. Learn about the different types and possible symptoms.

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17

Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome

Basal cell nevus syndrome is a group of defects caused by a rare genetic condition. Learn about the symptoms and treatments for basal cell nevus syndrome.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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