The Connection Between Alzheimer's Disease and Down Syndrome

The Connection Between Alzheimer's Disease and Down Syndrome

For years, scientists and doctors have been trying to understand the complexity of Alzheimer’s Disease and any other relating disorders that may contribute to the understanding and care plan. Recent studies have shown, “Approximately 40–80% of persons with Down syndrome (DS) develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-like dementia by the fifth to sixth decade of life.” This is due to both Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome sharing a genetic connection. While this new data can be concerning for caregivers, Circle of Life Alzheimer’s Home provides safe, private homes where patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s can receive the quality care they deserve. Keep reading to learn more about this new connection and contact us to learn more about care services available to your loved one.

child with down syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that occurs when a person has a full or partial third copy of chromosome 21. It is not known exactly why this happens, but Down Syndrome is known across the globe with individuals experiencing differences in earning styles, physical characteristics, and health.

patient doing a puzzle with help

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Patients with Alzheimer's Disease suffer from destroyed brain cells, which greatly impact their memory and cognitive functions, including the ability to learn, communication skills, and even basic daily tasks.


What Causes the Increased Risk?

Scientists and doctors have long researched both Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome concluding that the extra chromosome carries a specific gene that produces a key protein that is typically found in changes in the brain with Alzheimer’s. This protein known as an amyloid protein builds up and disrupts the brain and the way cells communicate with each other. Amyloid accumulation is typically found in all patients over 40 who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Patients with Down Syndrome are also more likely to experience health issues partially those involving the heart which increases their risk for dementia.

doctor reading results

Age When Diagnosis is Made

Typically patients who have Down Syndrome are also diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in their 50s, but it is not uncommon for symptoms to show in their 40s.

doctor taking notes

Caregivers Can Help Professionals

Many patients with Down Syndrome do not report issues with their memory, which can make an Alzheimer's diagnosis difficult. Information is usually collected by doctors from people who are close family members or caregivers of the patient to determine their intellectual ability and overall health.

Learn More About Us

If your loved one has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or they are at risk for Alzheimer’s or dementia, please contact Circle of Life Alzheimer’s Home. We are dedicated to helping provide caregivers and families with the support they need to care for their loved ones. Learn more about our available private homes for patients with Alzheimer's or dementia online or by contacting a representative today.

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