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July 28, 1978

Gastroesophageal Reflux in Mentally Retarded Adults

Author Affiliations

Center for Human Development Mt Pleasant, Mich

JAMA. 1978;240(4):346. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290040024008

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To the Editor.—  We have been able to demonstrate free gastroesophageal reflux by barium esophagrams in a number of mentally retarded adults who tend to have recurrent pneumonias. It is postulated that nocturnal aspiration of gastric contents may be an important factor in the causation of these pulmonary infections. We hope to prevent some of these infections by elevating the head end of the bed of these patients by 15 to 20 cm. This syndrome is not commonly known in mentally retarded adults and therefore is being reported here.