Improving detection and assessment of dementia in the autistic population

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This research project addresses the detection of dementia among autistic individuals. Such an association has been the subject of little scientific exploration. This research is a priority because of:
•Scarce and scattered literature1
•Lack of reliable data
•An overlap in cognitive profiles of autism, and dementia
•This area of research being neglected
This research project seeks to identify the magnitude of the problem in a Scottish context and improve detection and assessment of dementia amongst the autistic population. The overall aim of the research is broken down into four key objectives:
1. Identify the risk factors and profiles of dementia in autistic people
2. Characterise the problem by identifying prevalence rates of dementia amongst the autistic population in Scotland
3. Evaluate current dementia detection methods for effectiveness in autistic population
4. Formulate a potential customised dementia assessment package for this population
This presentation will demonstrate a suggested cognitive profile of autism and dementia developed using current literature. Factors of note within autism are the specific differences in cognition that autistic people may have, for example executive functioning2 movement3 and memory and sensory processing4. Using mind mapping software, a visual tool is being developed to identify aspects which are sensitive only to dementia and to determine those aspects which are sensitive to autism, or autism and dementia as they may impact outcomes of screening and assessment. This same approach will be used in relation to the dementia risk factors as identified by the Lancet Commission5, along with other components of the dementia profile, to support the development of a clear profile of autism and dementia as co-occurring conditions. These profiles will form the methodological basis of the bespoke assessment toolkit.
The presentation will also give an overview of future direction of the research and will discuss the participatory approaches being taken.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2022
EventOCALICONLINE 2022 - Online
Duration: 15 Nov 202218 Nov 2022


ConferenceOCALICONLINE 2022
Internet address


  • dementia assessment
  • autism


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving detection and assessment of dementia in the autistic population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this