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Am J Ment Defic. 1987 Sep;92(2):161-8.

Premature regression of adults with Down syndrome.

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New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island 10314.


Adaptive skills of 2,144 individuals with Down syndrome were compared to a similar group of 4,172 developmentally disabled people without Down syndrome. Activities of daily living and cognitive skills were examined across etiology, age group, and level of mental retardation. For individuals with Down syndrome at all levels of retardation, adaptive competence declined with increasing age to a greater extent than for retarded control subjects. Clear age-related deficits associated with Down syndrome were observed only in people older than 50 years of age. Findings support previous evidence of an increased risk for the clinical signs of Alzheimer's disease among people with Down syndrome; however, signs of dementia appeared later in life than would be predicted from available neuropathological data.

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