Down Syndrome Dementia

Talk to your doctor if someone close to you has symptoms of Down Syndrome dementia.

Down syndrome dementia is thought to be very similar to traditional forms of Alzheimer’s disease.

More than 75% of people with Down syndrome aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s in individuals with Down syndrome increases with age. People with Down syndrome are more likely to have young-onset Alzheimer’s. Some symptoms may appear by the age of 40.


Memory loss may not be as expected in the early stages of Down Syndrome dementia. Instead, there may be changes in overall function, personality, and behaviour.

Early symptoms may include:

  • Lack of interest in socializing, communicating, or expressing thoughts
  • Lack of initiative and enthusiasm for everyday activities
  • Decreased ability to focus or concentrate
  • Emotional changes such as sadness, fearfulness, anxiety, or irritability
  • Behavioural changes, including aggression, restlessness, or sleep disturbances
  • Seizures that begin in adulthood
  • Changes in coordination and walking
  • Increased noisiness or excitability