The researchers from Trinity College Dublin have examined if cognitive training for adults with Down syndrome can have a protective effect for healthy ageing. The study is being conducted in the context of a growing concern by the researchers involved regarding levels of dementia in an ageing Down syndrome population in Ireland and varying standards of care, support and diagnostic pathways around the country.
The study was supported by Down syndrome Ireland and the work is a collaboration with the University at Albany, New York and the University of Cambridge.
Figures released recently by the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing show that between 2010 and 2013, the prevalence of dementia among people with Down syndrome who are part of the study had almost doubled from 15.8% to 29.9%.
Adults with Down syndrome also often experience earlier onset of dementia than those in the general population, with previous studies by TCD showing that those with the syndrome develop dementia at age 55 on average, compared to 65 in the general population.