Neurodevelopmental conditions and aging: Report on the Atlanta Study Group Charrette on Neurodevelopmental Conditions and Aging

Matthew P. Janicki, C. Michael Henderson, I. Leslie Rubin,

Disability and Health Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2008, Pages 116-124,

This article provides a summary of the proceedings of the Neurodevelopmental Conditions Study Group charrette held on May 21−22, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) and underwritten by the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The charrette was a part of the conference on “State of the Science in Aging with Developmental Disabilities: Charting Lifespan Trajectories and Supportive Environments for Healthy Living.” The aim of the charrette was to examine the extant knowledge on aging-related long-term effects and interactions of a number of neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, spina bifida, and Williams syndrome. The discussants noted that although there is some published information regarding lifespan changes with these disorders, especially cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, there is a lack of confirming evidence for most of these conditions and concluded that additional evidence-based research and investigatory clinical work are needed to better understand the long-term effects of maturation and aging upon adults with these conditions. Primary recommendations included a call for more work toward the identification and description of the presentations and courses of age-related medical disorders that are common among these conditions; determination of the comparative prevalence and incidence of specific medical conditions between persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities and the general population; use of prevalence and incidence data to better understand risk factors for concomitant conditions; promotion of surveillance, screening, and specific treatment protocols for health provision; institution of a program of translational collaborative research related to older-age associated conditions; and dissemination of information related to aging and health to providers and people affected by these conditions.