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NHS urged over Down's dementia risk

NHS urged over Down's dementia risk

The government has been accused by a leading expert of "ignoring" the increasing number of people with Down's syndrome who also suffer from dementia.

Leading neuroscientist Professor Tony Holland, who specialises in learning disabilities, said much more needs to be done to help sufferers of the dual condition.

"We would like to see it acknowledged at a governmental level and then clear strategies put in place that ensures they have access to the right services," the Cambridge University professor told the BBC.

Campaigners are pressing the government to take more action and claim the issue, which can affect up to half of Down's sufferers in their 50s, was barely mentioned in a recent green paper on dementia care in England.

Nikke Lewis, whose brother Andrew, a Down's sufferer, died aged 52 after his memory started failing, said she had to fight to get the right treatment for him and that improvements in the care available have been "gradual".

"I think the levels of care now are becoming much more professional (but) it's very gradual, some areas are far more progressive than others," she said.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Down's Syndrome Association

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