Pat Summitt, head coach for the Tennessee women's basketball team, has recently announced that she has Alzheimer's disease.  During her diagnosis process, she was given a neuro-psych exam.  Part of the exam consisted of math questions, counting backwards, and even a question about the date.  Coach Summitt struggled with those questions.  Apparently, she always struggled with numbers and she's not intellectually disabled like Lyn.

The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is given to the general populace during an evaluation for a potential dementia diagnosis.  The MMSE is quick to administer and allows a clinician to evaluate the severity of a person's cognitive impairment.   I suspect this is one of the tests given to Coach Summitt.

Recognizing that testing of Lyn may be a challenge because of her intellectual disability, we would be best served to not benchmark Lyn against measures used for the general populace, but to benchmark her skills against herself.  To this end,  Lyn should be evaluated with the Dementia Questionnaire for Mentally Retarded Persons (DMR), the Dementia Scale for Down Syndrome (DSDS), Dementia Screening Questionnaire for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (DSQIID) and the Assessments for Adults with Developmental Disabilities (AADS) (PDF Link) test.  Additionally, there is the Protocol for Recording Baseline Behavior Information for Persons with Down Syndrome.

We need to have Lyn's current personal best on her skills documented to compare against her skills in the coming months.

Additional Information Sources:
Aging and Intellectual Disabilities: Confronting Issues in Measuring Dementia in Persons with Intellectual Disabilities
Alzheimer Disease in Down Syndrome
Instruments for the Assessment of Dementia Among People with Intellectual Disabilities


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