Neuropsychological diagnosis of aging in adults with Down Syndrome

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In the present study, we focused on cognitive abilities of persons with Down syndrome (DS) by administering an ad hoc neuropsychological battery. The subjects examined (n = 20, age varying between 19 and 52 years) were divided into two subgroups ('young' DS and 'old' DS) on the basis of chronological age (below or above 35 years), and the cognitive abilities of the two groups were compared. Subsequently, two different control groups were selected to evaluate the quality of the neuropsychological performances of the two subgroups. The abilities of the 'young' DS were compared with those of mentally retarded persons of a comparable mental age, while the abilities of the 'old' DS were compared with those of a group of persons with Alzheimer disease at the initial stage. Moreover, the persons with DS had a follow-up period of 1 year, so that any possible sign of decline could be evidenced. The results of this study seem to indicate the presence of a progressive decline in the cognitive abilities of persons with DS as they grow older, but the characteristics of this process are quite distinct from those observed in cases of pathologic aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Brain Dysfunction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Down syndrome, aging
  • mental retardation
  • neuropsychological assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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