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Cognitive Deficits (cont.)

Cognitive Deficits Causes

Cognitive deficits do not have an identifiable cause in many people. However, with comprehensive evaluation, the specific cause of about a majority of cases of severe deficits can be identified.

The causes of cognitive disabilities are generally divided into prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal factors.

  • Prenatal causes (those that occur before birth) may include genetic abnormalities, infections, exposures to substances that causebirth defects, and central nervous system malformationsDown syndrome and fragile X syndrome are among the most common genetic causes of intellectual disability.
  • Perinatal causes (those occurring around the time of birth) may include fetal malnutrition, prematurity, and decreased oxygen to the brain.
  • Postnatal or acquired causes (those after the newborn period) may include trauma (accidental and nonaccidental), suffocation, infections, toxic ingestions, brain damage, central nervous system tumors orcancer, degenerative disorders, and environmental influences (psychosocial deprivation, severe malnutrition).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2014
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Cognitive Deficits »

Cognitive deficits in children range from profound mental retardation with minimal functioning to mild impairment in specific operations.

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