Aging and dementia among adults with mental retardation and Down syndrome

Wayne Silverman, Warren B. Zigman, Huykang Kim, Sharon Krinsky-McHale, Henryk M. Wisniewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The life expectancy of people with mental retardation has dramatically increased over the past several decades. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the phenomenon of aging in this population, largely due to the historic fact that few of these people survived to become senior citizens. A rapidly expanding population of older adults with lifelong histories of atypical development may require unique patterns of services. Vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease is among the specific concerns that will need to be addressed. Because adults with Down syndrome exhibit many indications of accelerated aging, including a substantially increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, it is particularly important to understand their patterns of aging. Literature relevant to these issues is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalTopics in Geriatric Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Developmental disability
  • Down syndrome
  • Mental retardation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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