Development of Dementia, Including Assessment and Interventions

Carla Startin, Shahid Zaman, André Strydom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Adults with Down syndrome show premature aging with a high risk of developing dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia in people with Down syndrome develops in addition to pre-existing intellectual disability, which poses difficulties in its diagnosis. Determining baseline function and conducting regular assessments are essential to detecting cognitive and functional decline. Comorbid conditions such as epilepsy and depression may also affect dementia presentation. As there is little evidence for effective pharmacological treatment of dementia in adults with Down syndrome, the identification of novel treatment targets is vital. In addition, a better understanding of the time course of the development of dementia will aid in better detection and monitoring of individuals showing early signs of cognitive decline. Early dementia-related changes may include prominent declines in behavior, personality disturbance, and early impairments in memory. Advances in neuroimaging and biomarker detection will further assist in understanding the time course of dementia development in people with Down syndrome.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Down Syndrome and Development
EditorsJacob A Burack, Jamie Edgin, Leonard Abbeduto
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
ISBN (Print)9780190645441
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021

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