Syn: mental retardation. The condition in which reduced mental, emotional, and/or intellectual capacity renders individuals unable to function fully or normally in society. Depending on the severity of their condition, they require varying degrees of familial and/or social support, and, in the most extreme cases, institutional care. This miscellaneous group of conditions has many possible causes, including congenital conditions such as Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, hypothyroidism (iodine deficiency disorders [IDD]). Prevention is possible for IDD, and fetal alcohol syndrome is preventable if alcohol intake can be controlled.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.