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CAMDEX-DS: The Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of Older People with Down's Syndrome and Others with Intellectual Disabilities

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CAMDEX-DS is a comprehensive assessment tool for diagnosing dementia in people with Down's syndrome (a group known to be at particular risk of dementia). Based upon CAMDEX-R, CAMDEX-DS has been modified for use with intellectual disability. In order to differentiate decline due to dementia or other mental disorders from pre-existing impairment, particular emphasis has been placed on establishing change from the individual's best level of functioning. The pack is comprised of a structured informant interview, a direct assessment of the patient/participant (CAMCOG), and guidance for diagnosis and post-diagnosis intervention, providing a reliable way to identify dementia (and to differentiate it from other common disorders). It may be used in community settings by mental health professionals as part of the diagnostic process, or to formalize diagnosis in the context of research. Use of the CAMCOG provides the means for ongoing neuropsychological evaluation and informs future support and intervention strategies.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: The CAMDEX-DS is a combination of the CAMDEX informant interview and the Cambridge Cognitive Examination (CAMCOG) designed to assist in the evaluation of dementia in individuals with pre-existing intellectual disability.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the necessary neuropsychological instruments to measure cognitive changes and to facilitate the diagnosis of dementia in individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially those with Down's syndrome.
Audience: The authors do not indicate a particular audience, but it is clearly intended for trained clinicians, primarily neuropsychologists. It was developed by two graduate students as part of their PhD theses under the supervision of clinicians who have abundant experience working with adults with developmental disabilities.
Features: This set of instruments represents a standardized approach to the assessment of dementia in Down's syndrome. As such, it includes an informant interview and an assessment of the patient's abilities. The informant interview contains relevant questions regarding the patient's history, general baseline functioning, mental health, and specific questions regarding cognitive domains (e.g., orientation, memory, language, etc.). This provides useful, contrasting information to the later section, which directly assesses the patient's current abilities. Each question is scored on a 2- or 3-point scale with scoring guidance and follow-up questions, if necessary. The section on clinical diagnosis, while accurate, is a simplified cookbook of criteria, rather than an extensive guide in conceptualizing dementia. The section on post-diagnosis intervention, however, is more helpful and provides a useful environmental checklist.
Assessment: The CAMDEX-DS is a promising instrument in the assessment of dementia in patients with Down's syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. On the one hand, the standardized format is an advantage. On the other hand, the validity of the instrument is based on repeated assessments, but no information is provided regarding practice effects. In addition, the lack of normative data for a single administration is a major weakness. Nonetheless, this instrument provides a reasonable, structured approach for this specialized type of assessment and would be an asset to clinicians.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521547949
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2006
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Pages: 114
  • Product dimensions: 8.94 (w) x 12.17 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

D.O.B. 6 Sept 1976

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Description of the CAMDEX-DS; CAMDEX-DS; References; Appendix: CAMDEX validity paper: plus (in separate booklet) Pictorial material for cognitive examination.

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