NTG - Early Detection and Screen for Dementia


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What is the NTG-EDSD

The NTG released the NTG-Early Detection Screen for Dementia (NTG-EDSD) which was developed in response to requests by family caregivers and agencies for a tool useful to record observations of changes in function.


The NTG-EDSD is used in starting that critical conversation with (and among) clinical personnel as to whether their observations merit more explicit assessment for MCI or dementia or -- alternatively – signal behaviors that may be amenable to intervention and remediation. 


The NTG-EDSD, an administrative screening tool, is useful as part of the information collected in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act’s annual wellness visit and cognitive impairment assessment. The NTG-EDSD has been recognized as a useful dementia symptoms or indicators screening tool in the guidelines issued by the Medical Care Guidelines for Adults with Down Syndrome Workgroup and published in JAMA [2020, 324(15),1543-1556].  It has been found of use in studies of mild cognitive impairment, as well - see Silverman et al., 2021 (JARID, doi: 10.1111/jar.12849)


The NTG-EDSD is also useful for collective discussions and dementia care planning involving families and care providers.  A presentation by Dr. Lucy Esralew, of NTG's Board of Directors and Chair of the NTG's Clinical Care Committee, explains its basis and how it can be applied via a set of informative slides.  Click here to access her presentation.


The specialized information provided by the NTG-EDSD can aid community practitioners when examining and assessing adults with intellectual disability. The NTG-EDSD is designed to be completed by family caregivers and staff at local agencies and organizations. 

Both the NTG-EDSD and its manual are available in numerous language versions.  See below for the various versions.

English Language Version

English Print Version
English Electronic Version
Fillable PDF

Foreign Language Versions

Spanish /
No. American
Spanish /

NTG-EDSD Manuals

English Manual
French Manual
Italian Manual
Spanish Manual
Links to NTG-EDSD Webpages
  The Arc
  HealthMatters Program

NTG-EDSD Articles and Publications

NADD Bulletin article on NTG-EDSD
Practical applications of the NTG-EDSD for screening adults with intellectual disability for dementia: A German-language version feasibility study 
Book chapter on
DEMENZ article on NTG-EDSD
(in German)
AAIC 2020 Poster on NTG-EDSD

Physician's Quick Guide for Using the NTG-EDSD

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How to use the Quick Guide?
  • The NTG-EDSD is designed to help a clinician be informed about changes his/her patient may be experiencing.

  • As an agency staff or family member you should complete the NTG-EDSD based on your knowledge and observations of an adult with an intellectual disability. 

  • Bring the NTG-EDSD with you to the medical visit and also give the examiner the Quick Guide.

  • Be prepared to have some questions and discuss your notations on the NTG-EDSD with the examiner.

Miscellaneous Articles

Early Dementia Screening for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

          Commentary by Ginger Mogel (Sonoran UCEDD Trainee)

Big Leaf

Click on Leaf to access article

Evaluation of the National Task Group-Early Detection Screen for Dementia: Sensitivity to 'Mild Cognitive Impairment' in Adults with Down Syndrome

Silverman, W., Krinsky-McHale, S.J., Lai, F., Rosas, H.D., Hom, C., Doran, E., Pulsifer, M., Lott. I., Schupf, N, and Alzheimer’s Disease in Down Syndrome (ADDS) Consortium
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 2020, Dec 13. doi:10.1111/jar.12849.

Abstract: The accuracy of the National Task Group-Early Detection Screen for Dementia (NTG-EDSD) was evaluated in a sample of 185 adults with Down syndrome (DS), emphasizing 'mild cognitive impairment (MCI-DS)'. Knowledgeable informants were interviewed with the NTG-EDSD, and findings were compared to an independent dementia status rating based on consensus review of detailed assessments of cognition, functional abilities and health status (including physician examination). Results indicated that sections of the NTG-EDSD were sensitive to MCI-DS, with one or more concerns within the 'Memory' or 'Language and Communication' domains being most informative.  The NTG-EDSD is a useful tool for evaluating dementia status, including MCI-DS. However, estimates of sensitivity and specificity, even for detecting frank dementia, indicated that NTG-EDSD findings need to be supplemented by additional sources of relevant information to achieve an acceptable level of diagnostic/screening accuracy.

Usefulness of the NTG-EDSD: Evaluating the Validity of a Screening Tool for Dementia in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

​Ryan, M., Tuso, A., & Herge, A.. (2021). Usefulness of the NTG-EDSD: Evaluating the Validity of a Screening Tool for Dementia in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. 

Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program Capstone Presentations. Paper 22.

                                                                                                       click on PPT image embedded on webpage


Dementia and People with Intellectual Disabilities: Guidance on the Assessment, Diagnosis, Interventions and Support of People with Intellectual Disabilities Who Develop Dementia

British Psychological Society.  (2015).  Dementia and People with Intellectual Disabilities: Guidance on the assessment, diagnosis, interventions and support of people with intellectual disabilities who develop dementia – Update.  Leicester, United Kingdom: Author.  https://www.dsrf.org/media/REP77%20final%20proof%20(3).pdf 

See page 27 for commentary on the NTG-EDSD.

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Workshops/Trainings about the NTG-EDSD

A number of organizations have opted to use the NTG-EDSD for administrative screening and enabling staff to construct dementia care plans. They, or their administrative partners, have organized training to build capacity among staff and caregivers to use the NTG-EDSD for screening and care planning. Listed are a few examples of such trainings.

Wisconsin Alzheimer Institute at the University of Wisconsin    

   Screening for Dementia in Persons with an Intellectual Developmental Disability

   Held January 16, 2019

Catholic Charities Hawaii

   Early Detection of Changes Associated with Cognitive Decline in Adults with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

   Held March 12, 2020

Community Access Unlimited (CAUNJ), Elizabeth,New Jersey

   National Task Group Early Detection Screen for Dementia (NTG-EDSD)

   Presentation by Lucy Esralew, Ph.D.  Held July 2019

   Natl_Task_Force-Early_Detection_Dementia_PPT-1.pdf (caunj.org)

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