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Article
December 20, 1919

EFFECTS OF HOOKWORM DISEASE ON MENTAL DEVELOPMENT OF NORTH QUEENSLAND SCHOOLCHILDREN

JAMA. 1919;73(25):1877-1879. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610510015008
Abstract

During 1918, the state of Queensland, Australia, the Australian Institute of Tropical Medicine, and the International Health Board conducted jointly a hookworm survey in the northern portion of the state of Queensland, and through stool microscopy found 21 per cent, of the total population to be infected. The parasite was harbored by two fifths of the schoolchildren, a great many of whom showed physical dwarfing and sexual retardation.

In order to learn whether mental impairment might be due to hookworm disease, this investigation aimed to measure the mentality of a large number of children, and then to compare the results of the infected group with those of the noninfected group. The measures of intelligence employed were Goddard's 1911 Revision of the Binet-Simon scale,1 and the Porteus mazes,2 both of which were applied and scored according to the standard methods prescribed, excepting only the use of Australian copper and

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