dementia and Down syndrome: the diagnosis and support needed
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dementia and Down syndrome: the diagnosis and support needed

Karen Watchman Director, Down’s Syndrome Scotland, University of Edinburgh

Karen Watchman describes research into the early signs and symptoms of dementia among people with Down syndrome as reported by carers. She suggests that such observations can help shape later care and support

Recent research has suggested that the early symptoms and signs of dementia in people with Down syndrome may be different from those experienced by the general population (Ball et al 2006) and that the diagnosis of dementia is not routinely given to a person with Down syndrome (Wilkinson et al 2004). This article, following original research, suggests that early symptoms and signs of dementia reported by carers may be linked to understanding the type of dementia a person is experiencing. This understanding can be crucial to future care because using carers’ reports of early symptoms of dementia may help establish an accurate diagnosis and guide appropriate interventions.

Learning Disability Practice. 10, 2,10-14. doi: 10.7748/ldp2007.03.10.2.10.c4256

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