45 Physical and learning disabilities I


Physical and Learning Disabilities I


Learning disability has been described as “a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning acquired before adulthood”. An intelligence quotient of less than 70 has been used as the arbitrary dividing line that defines learning disability There are a number of medical conditions/diseases that are associated with learning disability and these are summarised in Box 45.1.

Box 45.1 Conditions/Diseases Associated with Learning Disability (Scully and Cawson, 2005)
Chromosomal anomalies

  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Autosomal trisomies (Edwards’ syndrome, Patau’s syndrome, Down syndrome)
  • Deletions 5, short arm (cri du chat syndrome)
  • Deletions 4, short arm (Wolf’s syndrome)
  • Sex chromosome anomalies (XO Turner’s syndrome, XXX superfemale, XXY Klinefelter’s syndrome, XYY syndromes)
Inborn errors of metabolism

  • Protein:
    • Hypothyroidism (cretinism)
    • Phenylketonuria
    • Homocystinuria
    • Wilson’s disease
  • Carbohydrate:
    • Galactosaemia
    • Mucopolysaccharidosis
  • Lipids:
    • Tay–Sachs disease
    • Gaucher’s disease
  • Purines:
    • Lesch–Nyhan syndrome
Phakomatoses (neurocutaneous disorders)

  • Neurofibromatosis (von Recklinghausen’s disease)
  • Encephalofacial angiomatosis (Sturge–Weber syndrome)
  • Tuberous sclerosis (epilopia)
Intrauterine damage (e.g. hypoxia)
Intrauterine infections

  • Cytomegalovirus
  • HIV
  • Rubella
  • Syphilis
  • Toxoplasmosis
Acquired causes of learning disability

  • Trauma
  • Hypoxia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Meningitis, encephalitis, HIV
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Poisons
  • Rhesus incompatibility

Provision of Oral Health Care

Services provided for people with learning disabilities should aim to improve their quality of life and help them achieve their fullest potential in society. Dental services for these children should aim to reduce the number of dental symptoms, maintain oral function and therefore their perception of oral well-being and quality of life. Regardless of nature or extent of the disability, everyone has equal rights and therefore dental services sh/>

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Jan 17, 2015 | Posted by in Pedodontics | Comments Off on 45 Physical and learning disabilities I

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