Mental retardation and developmental disordersAgeing and mental health problems in people with intellectual disabilityTorr, Jennifer; Davis, RobertAuthor Information Centre for Developmental Disability Health Victoria, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia Correspondence to Robert Davis, Centre for Developmental Disability Health Victoria, Suite 202/3, Chester St, Oakleigh, Vic 3166, Australia Tel: +61 3 9567 7511; e-mail [email protected] Current Opinion in Psychiatry: September 2007 - Volume 20 - Issue 5 - p 467-471 doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328278520d Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Increasing numbers of people with intellectual disability are now living well into old age. This paper will review the recent literature pertaining to the mental health of older people with intellectual disability. Recent findings Overall, the prevalence of mental health problems is high in adults of all ages with intellectual disability. A major epidemiological study did not report sufficient detail to examine the effect of ageing on specific disorders or the differential effects of ageing and early mortality in people with Down's syndrome. At least a third of people with Down's syndrome can expect to develop Alzheimer's disease in middle age whilst for other people with intellectual disability, Alzheimer's disease is probably no more common than in the general population. Diagnosis and management of dementia is complicated by the high rates of comorbid physical and mental health problems. Summary Overall, mental health problems in older people with intellectual disability are similar to younger people with intellectual disability, however there are more cases of dementia and physical health problems. Further research is needed to improve our understanding of the effects of ageing on the mental health and care needs of older people with intellectual disability. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.