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August 21, 1967

Down's Anomaly

Author Affiliations

Chapel Hill, NC

JAMA. 1967;201(8):644. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130080086041

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The title of this monograph, Down's Anomaly, gives credit to Langden Down, a London physician, who in 1866 recognized a distinct clinical entity which he named Mongolian idiocy. Professor Penrose's long interest in this syndrome and his many personal contributions to its understanding are reflected in the completeness with which the subject is presented: 25 pages of references form the last section of the monograph. In this book the authors present, in essence, an organized abstract of the world's literature on mongolism. It is difficult to be critical of what is said, but we can, perhaps, question the manner in which it is presented. In general the text reads well, but the reviewer found the continuous insertion of authors' names a frequent source of distraction—a relatively minor complaint of a very scholarly work.

The contents include historical background, physical signs, biochemistry, and cytogenetics. The section on dermatoglyphics is very detailed