Adults with Down's Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease

Sharna McQuillan (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham & South Birmingham Primary Care Trust)
Sunny Kalsy (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham & South Birmingham Primary Care Trust)
Jan Oyebode (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham & South Birmingham Primary Care Trust)
Dave Millichap (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham & South Birmingham Primary Care Trust)
Chris Oliver (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham & South Birmingham Primary Care Trust)
Scott Hall (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham & South Birmingham Primary Care Trust)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Publication date: 1 October 2003

Abstract

Adults with Down's Syndrome are at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in later life. This paper gives an overview of the current research in the area and discusses the implications it raises for individuals, carers and service providers. Information on the link between Down's Syndrome and Alzheimer's disease and prevalence rates are given. The clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and a stage model documenting the progression of the disease are presented. Attention is drawn to the problems inherent in assessing and diagnosing Alzheimer's disease in a person with a pre‐existing learning disability. The importance of a thorough assessment procedure and guidelines for assessment methods are highlighted. The paper also discusses the management of Alzheimer's disease and focuses on care management practices and recommendations for service provision. Guidelines for supporting individuals include maintaining skills, adopting a person‐centred approach, implementing psychosocial interventions and multidisciplinary care management. Finally, high prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease in adults with Down's Syndrome and increasing life spans are highlighted as a particular concern, and recommendations for the future include increasing education and awareness, implementing screening services, improving assessment methods and developing appropriate services.

Citation

McQuillan, S., Kalsy, S., Oyebode, J., Millichap, D., Oliver, C. and Hall, S. (2003), "Adults with Down's Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 4-13. https://doi.org/10.1108/13595474200300032

Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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