Neurobehavioral disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults with Down syndrome

George Capone, Parag Goyal, William Ares, Emily Lannigan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


The term dual-diagnosis refers to a person with mental retardation and a 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 15 2006


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Autistic spectrum disorder
  • Disruptive behavior disorder
  • Down syndrome
  • Dual-diagnosis
  • Neurobehavioral disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder
  • Psychiatric disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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