Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Dementia in intellectual disability

Sheehan, Rorya,b; Ali, Afiaa; Hassiotis, Angelaa,b

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: March 2014 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 143–148
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000032
Edited by Orestes Forlenza and Claudia Cooper

Purpose of review Dementia is emerging as a significant condition in the population with intellectual disability. This review is aimed at clinicians working in the field. We revisit what is known on the subject and expand on this with results from recent research. The emphasis of this review is on the clinical research rather than laboratory or molecular research.

Recent findings Research has encompassed all aspects of dementia in intellectual disability, from epidemiology, assessment and diagnosis, through to management. There remains a lack of evidence concerning both pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment of dementia in people with intellectual disability. Recent research has tended to focus on dementia in Down syndrome.

Summary More research is necessary in order to translate improvements in the understanding of the neuropathology of intellectual disability and dementia into effective treatments. There is also a need to investigate the optimum environment in which to provide holistic care for individuals affected.

aMental Health Sciences Unit, University College London

bCamden Learning Disabilities Service, London, UK

Correspondence to Dr Afia Ali, Mental Health Sciences Unit, University College London, 2nd Floor, Charles Bell House, 67-73 Riding House Street, London W1W 7EY, UK. Tel: +44 207 679 9334; e-mail:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins