Cognitive Profiles on the Severe Impairment Battery Are Similar in Alzheimer Disease and Down Syndrome With Dementia

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Previous research has revealed similarities in the neuropathology, clinical presentation, and risk factors between persons with Alzheimer disease from the general population (GP-AD) and those with Down syndrome (DS-AD). Less is known, however, about the extent of similarities and differences in the cognitive profiles of these 2 populations. Fifty-one moderate to severely demented GP-AD and 59 DS-AD individuals participated in this study which compared the cognitive profiles of these 2 populations on the Severe Impairment Battery (SIB), controlling for sex as well as level of functional ability using a modified version of the Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale. Overall, the neuropsychological profiles of the higher-functioning individuals within the DS-AD and advanced GP-AD groups, as represented by mean difference scores on the SIB as a whole and across the 9 separate cognitive domains, were very similar to one another after adjusting for sex and functional impairment. To our knowledge, this is the first study to directly compare the cognitive profiles of these 2 populations on the SIB. Findings suggest that the underlying dementia in GP-AD and DS-AD may have corresponding and parallel effects on cognition.

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