We have seen a profound increase in lifespan for individuals with Down syndrome (DS) in the past few decades leading to a large and somewhat understudied population of middle- and older aged adults with DS. One health condition consistently seen in clinic-based DS samples is dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease).
In Wisconsin, 3 in 5 people with Down syndrome diagnosed with dementia by age 55
Not so many years ago, people with Down syndrome rarely survived to middle age. Many died young due to heart problems associated with the congenital condition.
Today, advances in treatment have allowed them to live longer, healthier lives.