Definition of Mongolism

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Mongolism: Obsolete name for Down syndrome.

Down syndrome refers to the 19th century English physician J. Langdon Down who described the condition in 1866. In great error, Langdon Down attributed the condition to a "reversion" to the "mongoloid race." He held that evolution had been reversed and there had been a sort of backslide from the superior Caucasian to the inferior Oriental race. The misnomer "mongolism" is incorrect and racist and is to be avoided.

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