Motormental retardation is delayed or decreased development of both mental and motor skills.
Alternative NamesDelayed motor and mental development; Retardation - motormental; Psychomotor retardation
Motormental retardation in children is generally related to significant central nervous system damage or abnormality. The term refers specifically to delayed development of cognitive skills (like speech) and delayed development of motor skills (such as walking).
Infants can be born with conditions that cause motormental retardation. Motormental retardation may also develop AFTER birth, when the deterioration of both mental and motor functions is related to disease or accident.
Causes of Motormental retardation
BEFORE BIRTH causes include:
- Asphyxia (insufficient oxygen before or during birth)
- Cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)
- Congenital rubella syndrome
- Congenital toxoplasmosis
- Chromosomal abnormalities (excessive numbers or reduced numbers of chromosomes), such as trisomy 13, trisomy 18, trisomy 21 (Down syndrome)
- Abnormalities of the chromosome (with normal number of chromosomes), such as Fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
INFANCY/CHILDHOOD causes include:
- Infection -- meningitis or encephalitis; organisms can include virus, bacteria, or parasites. Some infectious organisms include: HIV, Herpes Simplex virus, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, listeria, H. influenza
- Trauma -- head injury, shaken-baby syndrome, asphyxia (such as near drowning)
- Non-genetic metabolic disorders -- kernicterus (brain damage due to severe jaundice; causes include Rh incompatibility), hypoglycemia, Reye syndrome, congenital hypothyroidism (untreated)
- Genetic metabolic disorders -- phenylketonuria (if untreated), histidinemia
- Intraventricular hemorrhage (as seen in very premature infants)
- Other inherited disorders -- Tay-Sachs disease, Aicardi syndrome, Niemann-Pick disease.
- Environmental or toxins -- lead poisoning, methyl mercury exposure (Minamata disease)
Home care varies with the cause, type, and severity of retardation.
When to Contact a Health Professional
- your child does not seem to be developing appropriately (see the developmental milestones document for your child's age).
An infant with motormental retardation generally has other symptoms and signs that, when taken together, define a specific syndrome or condition. Diagnosis of that condition is based on a family history, medical history, and thorough physical evaluation.
Medical history questions documenting motormental retardation in detail may include:
- What aspects of the child's development seem to be delayed?
- What specific skills have you noticed that seem to be delayed or absent?
- What other symptoms are present?
Note: For information on development, see the following documents.
- Infant - newborn development
- Toddler development
- Preschooler development
- Schoolage children development
- adolescent development
Physical examination may include periodic testing of your child's development to help determine appropriate therapy.
The type of diagnostic testing done is entirely dependent on the suspected diagnosis. Laboratory studies, such as chromosome studies, enzyme assays, x-rays, and metabolic studies may be ordered to confirm the presence of a suspected disorder.
AFTER SEEING YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
Although your health care provider maintains records on your child, it may be helpful to maintain your own records. You should add findings that you notice at home. Bring your records to the health care provider's attention if you notice any abnormalities, or if you have questions about your baby's development.
Reviewed By: Daniel Rauch, MD, FAAP, Director, Pediatric Hospitalist Program, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Copyright 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc.