May 3, 1976

Minimal Brain Dysfunction

Author Affiliations

San Marino Neurological Center San Marino, Calif

JAMA. 1976;235(18):1967. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260440023014

To the Editor.—  The editorial entitled "Minimal Brain Dysfunction" (235: 183, 1976) proposes that it is appropriate to avoid the use of this "wastebasket diagnosis," especially since it is obvious to the editor that grouping children under such a label would apparently prevent determination of the pathogenesis of the underlying disorder or disorders and retard the development of appropriate treatment.Researchers at Yale apparently were unhampered by this semantic "myth."11 They believe that they have developed an experimental model of minimal brain dysfunction in rats that suggests a functional deficiency of brain dopamine in the pathogenesis of minimal brain dysfunction. Such a pathogenesis apparently is supported by recent findings of a significantly reduced turnover of homovanillic acid in the cerebrospinal fluid of children with minimal brain dysfunction.2If such research can be verified, the obvious potential of early replacement of dopamine may well prevent the development of the