Section Heading Background Image


For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Neurobehavioral Disorders in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Down Syndrome

June 2011 | Capone et al. - American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C (2006)


The term dual-diagnosis refers to a person with mental retardation and psychiatric disorder. Most children with Down syndrome (DS) do not have a psychiatric or neurobehavioral disorder. Current prevalence estimates of neurobehavioral and psychiatric co-morbidity in children with DS range from 18% to 38%. We have found it useful to distinguish conditions with a pre-pubertal onset from those presenting in the post-pubertal period, as these are biologically distinct periods each with a unique vulnerability to specific psychiatric disorders. Due to the increased recognition that psychiatric symptoms may co-occur with mental retardation, and are not inextricably linked to cognitive impairment, these conditions are considered treatable, in part, under a medical model. Improvement in physiologic regulation, emotional stability, and neurocognitive processing is one of the most elusive but fundamental goals of pharmacologic intervention in these disorders. 

Full text ($) opens in new window

Find More Resources

We offer a variety of resources for people with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers and the professionals who care for and work with them. Search our collection of articles, webinars, videos, and other educational materials.

View Resource Library


Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.