|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Animals, because their basic cell biology and genetics are similar to humans, are prone to similar diseases. Thus animals can get genetic diseases and have problems in development. In humans mental retardation can be caused by a variety of disorders including problems in chromosomal separation as occurs in Down's syndrome and due to genetic conditions such as Fragile X. Since at the cellular level we are very similar to other animals they are all prone to such problems and therefore would be expected to have cases of mental retardation. Hope this helps, Gabriel Vargas, M.D. PhD References: UC Davis Vet School Genetics Lab(they discuss genetic problems which can lead to mental retardation in horses) http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/horse/hrsekary.htm Principles of Medical Genetics by Thomas D., Md. Gelehrter, Francis S., Md. Ph.D. Collins, Thomas F. Gelehrter, David Ginsburg
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