mental handicap

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Syn: mental impairment, incompetence, retardation. This term covers a large group of disorders with many possible causes in which intellectual function is inadequate to some degree. A person who is mentally handicapped may be so little affected as to pass unnoticed in everyday life; may require help to negotiate simple transactions, such as shopping or traveling on public transport; or may be unable to function independently, sometimes with associated physiological malfunctions, such as lack of control of bladder and bowel, and loss of social inhibitions, and may therefore require partial or continuing care in a custodial setting.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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