Carers of people with Down syndrome and dementia need access to information, review processes and futures planning


People with Down syndrome are more likely to develop dementia than those without and indeed this is more likely to occur at an earlier age, where clinical symptoms can occur when people are in their late 40s or early 50s. There is also some evidence that there are some differences in clinical symptoms in people [read the full story…]

Short term exercise programme improves muscle strength and agility in adolescents with Down syndrome


The benefits of exercise for a healthy lifestyle are now well understood. However, there are issues relating to the physiology of people with Down syndrome which might suggest limitations to the extent to which they can engage in cardiovascular or resistance exercises. we also know that many people with Down syndrome are overweight or obese. [read the full story…]

U.S. study compares health demographics of people with learning disabilities with and without Down syndrome


The researchers in this US study were looking to compare a range of indicators of health status and service use between adults with learning disabilities, with and without Down syndrome. They compared 1,199 people using services who had Down syndrome (DS) with a comparative sample of 11,182 people with learning disabilities who did not have [read the full story…]

Specialist learning disability dementia service enhanced memory and verbal communication


Dementia has been shown to be present at higher rates in adults with learning disabilities, with people with Down syndrome being at significantly increased risk of developing early onset dementia. The researchers in this Italian study were keen to look at whether approaches to dementia-derived environment, input from specialist personnel or patient-oriented intervention strategies had [read the full story…]

Self injurious behaviour prevalent in individuals with learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder


Self injurious behaviour is usually defined as behaviour that directly results in physical harm to an individual and includes such behaviours as hand biting, head slapping, picking at skin, gouging or striking the body or eating inedible material.  In addition, researchers have begun to include display of repetitive movements even though they may not immediately [read the full story…]

Adults with Down syndrome are hospitalised more than the general population and for a longer duration


Life expectancy of people with Down syndrome has been increasing over the last ten years, with consequent increases in the incidence of morbidity as they age. The authors of this study carried out by Israeli researchers point out that there is not much literature exploring this morbidity or looking at hospitalisation of adults with Down [read the full story…]

New RCT suggests memantine is not an effective treatment for dementia in people with Down syndrome


Our colleagues at the Mental Elf  found this small randomised controlled trial looking at the use of memantine for people with Down syndrome and dementia. The trial is being reported in the Lancet. People with Down’s syndrome are more likely to develop dementia than others and one in three will have the illness as early [read the full story…]

US study finds high levels of obesity in women with learning disability, Down syndrome, and milder learning disability

healthy diet

In this US study, the authors looked at the prevalence of obesity in people with learning disability and those in the general U.S. adult population without learning disability. They found that adults with learning disability did not differ from the general population in prevalence of obesity. However, when they combined obesity and overweight they found [read the full story…]

Study finds children with Down syndrome at risk for developing symptoms of sleep disordered breathing


The authors of this study set out to investigate sleep patterns in children with Down syndrome by asking parents to complete a questionnaire on sleep habits. Typical sleep problems included sleep maintenance problems, snoring, and disordered breathing. The authors administered a 33 item questionnaire on children’s sleep habits to the parents of 35 children with [read the full story…]

Social interaction as part of activity can encourage more frequent participation in exercise by children with Down syndrome


The authors of this study were interested to explore the barriers that might exist to enabling children with Down syndrome to do the recommended amount of daily physical activity. They were also interested to explore what might be facilitators to physical activity for this group. They carried out in-depth interviews with 20 parents (16 mothers, [read the full story…]