Changes in explicit memory associated with early dementia in adults with Down's syndrome

S. J. Krinsky-McHale, D. A. Devenny, W. P. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. A modified version of the Selective Reminding Test (SRT) (Buschke 1973) was used to examine the changes in memory that occur with early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT) in adults with intellectual disability (ID) and Down's syndrome (DS), and to compare these changes to those occurring with 'normal' ageing. Method. Hierarchical linear modelling analyses showed steep declines in the performance of participants who had met the criteria for the onset of DAT. Non-demented participants also showed declines in performance which were related to their age. However, the absolute magnitude of these declines was consistent with a 'normal' ageing pattern and not with undetected dementia. Results. In analysing the specific memory components that are compromised, the present authors found that participants with early-stage DAT showed severely diminished long-term storage and retrieval processing abilities compared to their non-demented peers. Notably, these declines preceded other symptoms of dementia, in most cases by more than a full year and sometimes by as much as 3 years. Conclusions. Thus, the present results clearly confirm that memory processes are affected during early dementia in adults with DS, and that the SRT has promise as a clinical tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-208
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Down's syndrome
  • Explicit memory
  • Selective Reminding Test
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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