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International Research Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health

Systematic assessment of early symptoms of unspecified dementias in people with developmental disabilities: case studies

Suela Ndoja

Lecturer- University “Luigj Gurakuqi”, Clinical Psychologist- Association, Progetto Speranza, Albania

Accepted 20 October, 2017.

Citation: Ndoja S (2017). Systematic assessment of early symptoms of unspecified dementias in people with developmental disabilities: case studies. International Research Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health, 1(1): 002-009.

Copyright: © 2017 Ndoja S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Abstract

Researchers have shown that individuals with mental retardation or with developmental disabilities are at a greater risk of developing health problems and among others dementia than the general population. As the literature points out, dementia is characterized by progressive loss of cognitive functions, until the individual has lost all independency and ability in daily life. It is therefore necessary to carry out a systematic assessment throughout the developmental phases at the beginning of these signs. The purpose of this paper is to present the importance of systematic assessment of early symptoms of unspecified dementias in people with developmental disabilities. The methodology is based on the pre-dementia analysis of two study cases followed by a 2-year period. In conclusion, it can be argued that the diagnosis of dementia in people with developmental disabilities, in the early stages, has become difficult because of the lack of reliable and standardized criteria and diagnostic procedures and difficulties to investigate cognitive decline versus an already vulnerable developmental disability base. Therefore, in people with developmental disabilities, a diagnosis of dementia needs to be done based on changes in mental status from basic functioning. This helps a clinician to determine an accurate diagnosis in later years as hypothetically results from two case studies with later subcortical dementia. However, this endeavour remains to be discussed widely by mental health specialists, public health and cognitive neuroscience in order to determine whether this contribution provided actually has the power of explanation understandable or is understandable by the part of interest.

Key words: systematic assessment, early symptoms of unspecified dementias, people with developmental disabilities, case studies, pre-demential analysis