chapter  76
2 Pages


ByBasant K. Puri, Ian H. Treasaden

Mutism, derived from the Latin mutus, refers to the inability to speak, although some mute patients may generate nonverbalized sounds such as grunts.1

The main causes of nonelective mutism have been enumerated by Moore and Puri and are listed in Table 76.1. In forensic cases, the possibility of malingering as a cause of elective mutism must always be borne in mind (see the following discussion).