A. Czeizel, J. Métneki-Bajomi: Present possibilities for the prevention of hereditary mental subnormality. Int. J. Rehab. Research, 1 (3, July 1978) 301 - 308. 1364 mentally subnormal children aged 7-11 living in Budapest were studied in 1972-1974. The etiology of mental subnormality was established in 1104 cases. In 9.7 per cent of the patients it was caused by single mutant genes. (Inborn errors of metabolism: 42 cases; malformation-syndromes: 54 cases.) Chromosome abnormalities were responsible for 6.5 per cent of all mentally subnormals. According to the estimation with the help of the recent advanced methods 26.2, 29.6 and 9.7 percent of inborn errors of metabolism, malformation- syndromes and chromosome abnormalities, resp., could have been prevented by the genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis. 540 cases (48.9 per cent) were included in the so-called multifactorial-familial category. (It is the resultant of polygenic inherited intelligence and unfavorable environmental effects.) 83.3 per cent of familial mental subnormalities could be prevented partly with a decrease in the number of children in these families to the average (At present they have a three times higher average child-number than the Hungarian population and the mental subnormality is conspicuously high (43.5 per cent) among their children), partly with the improvement of socio-economic conditions of these families. 70.8 per cent of the partly or entirely genetically induced cases - these are 54.2 per cent of all cases of mental subnormality - might, thus, theoretically have been prevented.
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