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Minimal Brain Dysfunction: Toward an Understanding Between School and Physician

Jerry Newton, MD
JAMA. 1976;235(23):2524-2525. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260490042023.
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The pendulum of medical thinking is constantly swinging. In the past 15 to 20 years, many physicians throughout the United States have become actively involved in the interdisciplinary management of children with minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) and school learning problems. This trend has progressed to a degree that has caused a note of caution to be raised. Are physicians delving too far into the field of education? What is MBD? Before we lessen our involvement in this complicated medical-educational problem, let us remember a little history and reassess our position.

Even though classical dyslexia was first described more than 75 years ago, only in the past 15 to 20 years have relatively large numbers of school children with normal intelligence and no readily detectable physical defects been identified as having specific learning disability. These are the children who, in many cases, have come to be classified as having MBD. From


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