High rates of dementia, Alzheimer’s observed among older people with Down syndrome

People with Down syndrome are at higher risk for dementia as they age. The study authors noted that nearly all adults with Down syndrome develop neurological changes by age 40, but symptoms may not appear for decades. The authors added that population studies are needed to identify when symptoms begin so that families and health care systems can plan care for people with Down syndrome as they age.

In the current study, researchers led by Eric Rubenstein, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed claims records by 2,968 Wisconsin Medicaid enrollees with Down syndrome from 2008 to 2018. Among those ages 40 to 54, 18.8% (190 of 1013) had filed dementia claims. There was a 40% chance that a person with Down syndrome age 40 to 54 years old would file a dementia claim over the next 11 years; there was a 67% chance that a person with Down syndrome age 55 or older would file such a claim. Among men and women with Down syndrome younger than 40, the likelihood of dementia was roughly equal, but from ages 40 to 54, dementia was 23% more likely in women.

Because eligibility requirements for people with Down syndrome are similar among Medicaid programs, other states may likely have a comparable proportion of claims for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in this population.

Top Articles

Parasitic worms cause cancer — and could help cure it

Billions worldwide are infected with tropical worms. Unsurprisingly, most of these people live in poor countries, kept poor by the effects of worm-related malnourishment. What may surprise many is that worms also cause the majority of cases of some cancers in these countries.

Read More

Sharp increase in falls in women during midlife

Falls are not just a problem of advanced age, according to researchers, who have identified a sharp increase in falls after the age of 40, particularly in women.

Read More

Phytochemicals: beyond vitamins

Phytochemicals are non-nutritive chemicals in plant foods that protect plants from microbial invasions and infections.

Read More

Latest News

Study seeks to optimize comfort for patients removed from ventilators at end of life

A recently published paper reports on a study of the palliative ventilator withdrawal (PVW) procedure performed in intensive care units (ICU) at end of life.


Dementia gene raises risk of severe COVID-19

Having a faulty gene linked to dementia doubles the risk of developing severe COVID-19, according to a large-scale study.


Simple question can lead to remedy for older adults’ dizziness and impaired balance

Does lying down or turning over in bed make you feel dizzy? This simple question effectively identifies whether a person suffers from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which is harmless and treatable, recent research shows.


“Our bodies are our gardens - our wills are our gardeners.”

William Shakespeare