The authors collected Verbal, Performance and Full-scale IQs for 74 patients in whom complete analysis of the dystrophin gene for deletions and duplications had been performed. There was a significant difference in the mean Full-scale IQ between patients with deletions at the 5' and 3' ends of the gene, with no patients with 5' deletions having mental retardation. No relationship was established between mental retardation and the presence or absence of deletions or length of deletions, and similar deletions were observed in the presence and absence of mental retardation. Although distal deletions were more commonly associated with mental retardation, there was no clear evidence for a particular region of the dystrophin gene being specifically responsible for IQ. The intellectual deficit seen in DMD may be a consequence of cerebral hypoxia, ue to malfunction of smooth muscle dystrophin.