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August 22, 1966

Mentality Status in Cerebral Palsy

JAMA. 1966;197(8):665. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110080105041

To the Editor:—  We are indebted to Dr. Ralph I. Fried for his searching analysis and splendid job of medical reporting of "Calabazas: Court Jester to Philip IV of Spain" (196:765, 1966).However, his statement, "While only a small portion of cerebralpalsied individuals have any mental dysfunction,..." is not supported by current statistics. The orthopedic textbook which our medical students read states: "Statistics have shown that the mentality of from 30 to 50% of all cerebral palsy patients is either seriously retarded or otherwise defective, and that approximately 75% have a mentality below average."1Dr. George G. Deaver of New York city and others have estimated that 70% of the children brought to him are mentally retarded.Our experience at the University of Maryland and the Kernan Crippled Childrens Hospital, Baltimore, has been much the same.