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Challenges faced in managing dementia in Alzheimer’s disease in patients with Down syndrome

Authors Prasher V, Mahmood H, Mitra M

Received 27 April 2016

Accepted for publication 26 May 2016

Published 20 September 2016 Volume 2016:6 Pages 85—94

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DNND.S91754

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Müller


Vee P Prasher, Hassan Mahmood, Madhumanti Mitra

Birmingham Learning Disability Service, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Abstract: Dementia in Alzheimer’s disease (DAD) is more common in adults with Down syndrome (DS), with characteristically an earlier onset. The treatment of DAD is not too dissimilar in the general population and in people with intellectual disabilities. However, the underlying intellectual disability can make the management of DAD more challenging in older adults with DS. This literature review aimed to look at the management of DAD in people with DS. The management of dementia is holistic. This includes treating reversible factors, aiming to slow the cognitive decline, psychological therapies, ensuring that the environment is appropriate, and use of psychotropic medication when necessary to manage behavioral problems, psychotic symptoms, depressive symptoms, and sleep difficulty. Antidementia medications have a role to play but remain limited. The management of DAD in the DS population can be at times challenging, but good clinical practice should involve accurate diagnosis of dementia, treating any reversible additional factors, consideration of psychological and behavioral management, use of antidementia medication, and a multidisciplinary team approach.

Keywords: Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, management

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