What is the disease progression of Alzheimer disease (AD) in Down syndrome (DS)?

Updated: Nov 13, 2019
  • Author: Norberto Alvarez, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

The following information, which is from the author's personal experience with institutionalized DS individuals, may help those who plan services for individuals with DS and AD:

  • Communication/speech disorder - Early indication of the impairment was observed after an average of 1.4 years (range, 0-4 y; 0 implies the presence of symptoms at the time of first evaluation), and total loss of function occurred approximately 4.5 years (range, 2.5-6.8 y) after confirmation of diagnosis

  • ADLs - Early indication of failure was observed at an average of 5 months (range, 0-1.8 y), and total loss of function occurred 4.5 years (range, 1.5-6.5 y) after confirmation of the diagnosis

  • Ambulation - Early signs of deterioration were observed after 1.1 years (range, 0-3.7 y), and total loss of ambulation occurred 4.6 years (range, 2.5-7.4 y) after confirmation of the diagnosis

  • Leisure activities - Early indications of deterioration were observed after 10 months (range 0-2.9 y), and total loss of the ability to participate in leisure activities was seen after an average of 4.1 years (range 1.5-6.5 y).


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