Is there a baseline test that can be repeated at intervals to determine specific decrease in cognitive function?
A. Psychologists often use questionnaires answered by family members, companions or caretakers that assist in the early detection of dementia. It is recommended that individuals with Down syndrome be tested at age 30 to provide a baseline reading, and periodically thereafter. If the tests show deterioration, further tests must be made to rule out conditions that present similar or overlapping symptoms. Q. What information has research yielded about a link between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome? A. Current research investigating how certain genes on Chromosome 21 may predispose individuals with Down syndrome to Alzheimer’s disease. A number of centers are testing therapies in Down syndrome that appear to benefit patients with Alzheimer’s disease in the general population. Q. How can research into Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome be advanced? A. As is true for Alzheimer’s disease in the general population, a full understanding of the disorder involves post-mortem examination