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Will my child be born mentally retarded?

Wednesday, 12 November 2003
Answered by: I.C. Verma
Consultant, Medical Genetics,
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
New Delhi
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Q. I am a 30 year man married 4.5 months back to a 27 year old lady. Now my wife is pregnant. My wife's maternal uncle is mentally retarded and the behaviour of my wife's brother is also suspicious regarding his mental health. In this situation, does the ultra-sound scanning done during pregnancy helps us to detect any mental health related abnormalities in the unborn child? I have not discussed this issue with my wife as it is very sensitive. Is there any additional test available to know about the mental health of the unborn child as there is some family history of mental disability?

A.  Mental retardation among male relatives of a woman is likely to be due to fragile X syndrome. If this is the diagnosis in the affected males then your wife is at risk of being a carrier (50%), and 50% chance of not being a carrier. Please consult a geneticist.

A.  Mental retardation among male relatives of a woman is likely to be due to fragile X syndrome. If this is the diagnosis in the affected males then your wife is at risk of being a carrier (50%), and 50% chance of not being a carrier. Please consult a geneticist.

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