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April 7, 1917

Syphilis as an Etiologic Factor in Mongolian Idiocy

Author Affiliations

Vineland, N. J.

JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(14):1057. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270040045023

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To the Editor:  —I have been much interested in the article by Drs. McClelland and Rub on this subject (The Journal, March 10, 1917, p. 777). I have been studying it for ten years and have discussed it in "Feeble-Mindedness, Its Causes and Consequences." I have not been able to find any conclusive proof that syphilis in the parents causes feeblemindedness of any type, to say nothing of the Mongolian. I was consequently much surprised at Dr. Stevens' article, which is answered by the article in question.The results of Drs. McClelland and Rub are thoroughly consistent with other studies of Wassermann tests of the feebleminded. We have made two series of examinations in this institution, in one of which five antigens were used and both blood and spinal fluid employed. In neither of these was the percentage of positives noticeably high. Many other institutions have made similar tests of

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