Alzheimer’s Far More Likely In People With Down Syndrome
Odds are that one in 10 people will get Alzheimer’s disease by age 65. But add Down syndrome to the mix and those odds climb to more than a 75 percent chance.
Medical advances mean that it’s more and more likely that people with Down syndrome will reach old age. And that means a ballooning population of people experiencing both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s.
Trouble is that it’s difficult to diagnose Alzheimer’s when it’s intertwined with the already different abilities of someone with Down syndrome. And, for many people experiencing both, there’s a sense of anger and frustration as Alzheimer’s robs them of many daily living skills they fought long and hard to gain in the first place.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Currently few facilities are prepared to deal with the unique challenges this population faces, especially given that people with Down syndrome tend to get Alzheimer’s when they are in their 50’s and 60’s ahead of the rest of the population. The small crop of group homes catering specifically to this population have long waiting lists and are difficult to staff, reports The Edmonton (Canada) Journal.