We are delighted to be able to share news from the National Memory Clinic for People with an Intellectual Disability. A Memory Clinic is a specialist service that provides assessment, diagnosis, and follow-up treatment for people with memory disorders, including dementia. The National Memory Clinic for People with an Intellectual Disability has been developed in partnership between Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), Trinity College Dublin, and the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service.
The Clinic, a pilot service, will operate on a part-time basis and runs in parallel with the mainstream Memory Assessment and Support Service at TUH. Professor Mary McCarron is the Executive Director of the Clinic. The Clinic can take referrals from GPs or psychiatrists who have a concern about someone with an intellectual disability.
To mark World Alzheimer’s Day the Trinity Centre for Ageing and Intellectual Disability and the National Disability Memory Clinic in Tallaght University Hospital hosted a webinar about the vital importance of people with an intellectual disability having access to dementia diagnosis. The webinar highlighted the high risk of people with Down syndrome developing dementia later in life, the difficulty many people face in getting a diagnosis, and how caregivers are often overwhelmed. It was emphasised that the earlier that dementia is detected, the sooner the person living with dementia can get the support needed to have the best quality of life possible. Because of the high risk, more focus is needed on prevention and this is an area of interest for a growing number of researchers.
One of these researchers is Dr. McGlinchey, who held ‘Brain Health in People with Down Syndrome’ talks in several DSI branches last year and is currently leading the PREVENT dementia – DS study. We will keep members up to date on the progress of this study as well as letting you know how you can get involved.