Mental Retardation Causes

(Also Known As: Retardation Causes, Down Syndrome Causes, Learning Disability Causes, Mentally Retarded Causes, Borderline Mental Retardation Causes, Autism Mental Retardation Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Causes Mental Retardation?

While there are many causes of mental retardation, doctors find the condition in only 25% of the cases. There are risk factors associated with the causes of mental retardation. The roots of intellectual disability can be divided into several categories 1:

  • Infections which may manifest themselves at birth or right after birth. This may include HIV infection, meningitis, listeriosis, congenital CMV or rubella, encephalitis, among others.
  • Chromosomal abnormalities which may include cri du chat syndrome, translocation of a gene, fragile X syndrome, or discrepancies in the number of chromosomes, such as the Down’s syndrome.
  • Environmental causes such as the deprivation syndrome
  • Genetic abnormalities and inherited metabolic conditions such as phenylketonuria, galactosemia, Hurler syndrome, to name a few.
  • Metabolic causes such as hypoglycemia, congenital hypothyroid, and hyperbilirubinemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Pre and post-natal trauma such as sever head injuries, intracranial hemorrhage
  • Unexplained

Could You Have Mental Retardation?

Mental Retardation Topics

Related Conditions

Asperger's Syndrome – restricted social interaction, repetitive behavior, non-verbal communication deficit, lacking empathy, clumsiness
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – neurobehavioral developmental disorder, inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, chronic childhood disorder
Autism – impaired social interaction, communication deficit, brain developmental disorder
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – developmental delay in language, motor skills and social function, autism, delayed motor skills
Learning Disorders – delayed development of functional skills, difficulty in organization of thoughts, academic skill deficits
Rett's Disorder – cognitive impairment, reduced socialization skills, lack of social interest
Selective Mutism – reluctant to speak even with speech ability, anxiety, autism, Asperger’s Syndrome