It is generally recognized that an acute attack of lethargic encephalitis in a child frequently produces marked disturbances in personality and behavior. There is, however, disagreement in regard to the influence of the disease on general intelligence. The study reported here was an attempt to determine by quantitative measurements the change in general intelligence of children afflicted with the disease.
There have been reported instances of feeblemindedness which appeared directly attributable to the disease.
Paterson and Spence1 (1921) reported a "state of permanent and hopeless idiocy" existing in seven of a group of twenty-five children who before acquiring the disease were of "normal health and intelligence."
Ebaugh2 (1923) reported the case of a child who at the age of 6 years had a mental age of 2 years, the age at which she acquired the disease. Previous to that age she had "showed normal mental development."
BROWN AW, JENKINS RL, CISLER LE. INFLUENCE OF LETHARGIC ENCEPHALITIS ON INTELLIGENCE OF CHILDREN: AS DETERMINED BY OBJECTIVE TESTS. Am J Dis Child. 1938;55(2):304–321. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.1938.01980080075005
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