Why do we need national guidelines for adults with intellectual disability and dementia?

New Article Highlights Need for National Practice Guidelines for Adults with ID and Dementia

Matthew P. Janicki and Seth M. Keller

The NIDILRR-funded
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health (RRTCDD) recently published an article, Why do we need national guidelines for adults with intellectual disability (ID) and dementia? in the open access journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment, & Disease Monitoring. The article introduces current research in dementia care practices and highlights the need for special guidelines for individuals with ID, for whom symptoms of dementia may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
The World Health Organization's (WHO) report, Dementia: A Public Health Priority[1] drew attention to the growing impact that Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are having on the world's older population. The report noted the need for more effective early detection and screening, diagnostic and medical treatment services, and innovative models of family supports and social care. It also identified “populations with specific needs,” including adults with intellectual disability (ID)3 (and in particular adults with Down syndrome—who “are at a significant risk of developing Alzheimer's disease”) as needing special attention.