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Introduction to Research Theme: Dementia

Prevalence of dementia appears about the same as in the general population. However, prevalence of dementia among those with Down syndrome is considerably higher and appears at a much younger age.

Diagnosis and assessment among people with an intellectual disability is challenging because of pre-existing cognitive deficits and there is no standardised assessment protocol.

The research completed by the Centre

  • Advances standardization and validation of assessment instruments

  • Addresses the physiology of dementia, screening, prevention and preservation of brain function

  • Offers practical strategies for care, and design of living environments

  • Builds valuable information on improving service provision and quality of life for people with Down syndrome and dementia

  • Promotes future planning and services provider strategy development for those with dementia and Down syndrome.

  • Ensures person-centred and dementia appropriate end of life care

Work within IDS-TILDA is expanded with additional studies that include The 20 year Longitudinal Study on Dementia and Down Syndrome; Brain Exercises for Adults with Down Syndrome (BEADS Study) and development of a memory clinic model offering timely screening, assessment and post diagnostic support. This work has informed the design dementia friendly living environments at the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service which received the 2014 Specialist Care Centre of the Year and the 2014 Building Project of the Year Irish Healthcare Centre Awards. At the official opening Minister of State Kathleen Lynch TD said the two homes 'will serve as a model for all dementia care initiatives in Ireland. They are not just about new construction and interior design, they also include innovative programming approaches. The development has potential to influence the strategies that will be considered and implemented for all persons with dementia.' Work under this theme is closely linked with the Global Brain Institute in Trinity College and with the All-Ireland Institute on Palliative and Hospice Care

Dementia Team