The neglected puzzle of dementia in people with severe/profound intellectual disabilities: A systematic literature review of observable symptoms

Maureen B G Wissing, Aurora M Ulgiati, Johannes S M Hobbelen, Peter P De Deyn, Aly Waninge, Alain D Dekker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dementia is increasingly prevalent in people with severe/profound intellectual disabilities. However, early detection and diagnosis of dementia is complex in this population. This study aimed to identify observable dementia symptoms in adults with severe/profound intellectual disabilities in available literature.

METHOD: A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, PsycINFO and Web of Science with an exhaustive search string using a combination of search terms for severe/profound intellectual disabilities and dementia/ageing.

RESULTS: Eleven studies met inclusion criteria. Cognitive decline, behavioural and psychological alterations, decline in activities of daily living as well as neurological and physical changes were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Only a very limited number of studies reported symptoms ascribed to dementia in adults with severe/profound intellectual disabilities. Given the complexity of signalling and diagnosing dementia, dedicated studies are required to unravel the natural history of dementia in this population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMental Handicap Research
Early online date4 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • dementia
  • down syndrome
  • ageing

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