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September 1961

Families with Two or More Mentally Defective Sibs: II. Biochemical Studies

Author Affiliations

Stanley W. Wright, M.D., Research Dept., Pacific State Hospital, Box 100, Pomona, Calif.; From the Department of Pediatrics, University of California Medical Center, Los Angeles; Division of Chemistry (Contribution No. 2664), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.; and Pacific State Hospital, Pomona, Calif.

Am J Dis Child. 1961;102(3):302-307. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.02080010304004

The search for biochemical abnormalities in mentally defective persons has proved to be a slow and difficult process. The selection of patients for study may present many problems. For this study we have selected 61 families with 2 or more defective sibs from patients within an institution for the mentally defective. It was thought that there was a greater likelihood that the mental defect had a genetic, and, hence, most likely a biochemical basis in this group of sibs. It is recognized that a mental defect is a reflection of many diverse causes and is not only due to genetics in all of these families. The association between genetically determined biochemical defects and mental deficiency has been reviewed by Paine and others.1,2

Summaries of the clinical and physical findings of all 61 families were given in a previous publication.3 Five of the families had defective sibs on the

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