Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate acute neuropsychiatric disorders in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. We report 13 Japanese adolescents or young adults with Down syndrome who developed acute neuropsychiatric disorders including withdrawal, depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and occasional delusions or hallucinations.
Methods: THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS COLLECTED FROM EACH PATIENT: age at onset of acute neuropsychiatric disorder, complications, signs and symptoms, personality traits before the onset of the acute neuropsychiatric disorder, prescribed medications with their respective doses and the response to treatment, and senile changes observed on magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography.
Results: The mean age at onset of these disorders was 21.2 years. Brain imaging showed almost senile changes; patients responded well to low-dose psychotropic therapy. Patients had an onset at a young age and presented with treatable conditions, although the average age of the onset of Alzheimer's disease is generally over 40 years of age in patients with Down syndrome.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the pathology of acute neuropsychiatric disorder in patients with Down syndrome may be related to presenile changes; however, these disorders present features and a clinical course that is different from those presented in typical Alzheimer's disease with Down syndrome.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Down syndrome; acute neuropsychiatric disorders.