The challenges of diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Down’s syndrome.

This study analysed retrospective data on twenty adults with Down’s syndrome (DS), who are clients of a specialist service in Dublin. The aim was to compare the practice of this service on diagnosis and treatment of dementia, with the consensus recommendations of the Royal College of Psychiatry, British Psychological Society and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Further aims were to establish average time to make a diagnosis and commence pharmacotherapy, and to describe tolerability to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Vaughan et al. (2016) found that screening for dementia did not take place before the age of 30yrs with the mean age for first assessment being 48yrs and average age at diagnosis being 51yrs. Average length of time from first identified symptoms to diagnosis was 1.3yrs. Of those diagnosed, 83% were prescribed acetylcholinesterase inhibitors but the authors were concerned at the continued use of the drug even when there appeared to be no benefit to the person. They found that a wide range of assessments were in use and that longitudinal assessment and follow up were not practiced. The authors recommend the streamlining of assessment tools and repeating assessment on a longitudinal basis.
Title: 
The challenges of diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Down’s syndrome.
Date: 
2016
Theme or key words: 
References: 
Vaughan, R.M., McGee, C., Guerin, S., Tyrrell, J. and Dodd, P., 2016. The challenges of diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Down’s syndrome. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 33(3), pp.151-158