A CLOSE correlation between mental function and cerebral oxygen uptake (CMRO2) has been established by numerous clinical studies with the Kety-Schmidt inert gas saturation technique. A subnormal CMRO2 is invariably found in the acute depression of brain function that clinically manifests itself as semicoma or coma, eg, as caused by narcotic drugs.1-4 Of special pertinence to the present study is the marked reduction of CMRO2 that accompanies the chronic depression of brain function characterizing senile and presenile dementia as well as all other forms of organic dementia in adults.5-7
Severe chronic dementia in infancy and early childhood (the idiocies) has so far been studied to a very limited extent with regard to CMRO2. Garfunkel et al found reduced CMRO2 in children with various types of severe neurological disorders with dementia.8 Similar results were obtained in four patients with microcephaly and idiocy studied
LASSEN NA, CHRISTENSEN S, HOEDT-RASMUSSEN K, STEWART BM. Cerebral Oxygen Consumption in Down's Syndrome. Arch Neurol. 1966;15(6):595–602. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470180035004
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