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January 1967

The Cerebral Metabolic Rate in Mentally Retarded Children

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the departments of pediatrics and neurology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Arch Neurol. 1967;16(1):55-58. doi:10.1001/archneur.1967.00470190059007

ALTHOUGH decreases in the levels of conscious mental function have been found to be associated with corresponding decreases in the cerebral metabolic rate in pathological states, information concerning the cerebral oxygen consumption (CMRO2) of mentally deficient individuals has been inconclusive. Himwich, in a study of a large group of undifferentiated mentally defectives, found the cerebral arteriovenous oxygen difference not to be significantly different from normal.1 In the absence of clinical evidence of an alteration of cerebral blood flow, (CBF), he suggested that the mental defect was not associated with a change in the cerebral metabolic rate. However, it has been found with quantitative techniques that CBF may vary considerably in a single individual or from one individual to another without gross clinical evidence of such variation. Therefore, measurement of the cerebral arteriovenous oxygen difference alone cannot be considered an adequate means of estimating CMRO2. Garfunkel, using a

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