Irish Times: Psychiatrist Professor Gautam Gulati on the higher prevalence of mental illness among individuals with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22qDS)
22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22qDS) is the commonest rare chromosomal disorder after Down Syndrome. On Saturday and Sunday (November 18th-19th), the fifth European Conference on 22qDS 22q11 European Conference in Dublin – 22Q11 Europe convenes in Dublin. George Winter writes for the Irish Times about the lived experience of those with 22qDS.
Read the article in full on the Irish Times website, and read snippets by Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist Professor Gautam Gulati on the psychiatric dimension of the disorder.
In terms of a psychiatric dimension to an interdisciplinary approach, consultant forensic psychiatrist Prof Gautam Gulati of the University of Limerick notes a higher prevalence of illnesses such as schizophrenia spectrum, plus mood and anxiety spectrum disorders among individuals with 22qDS. “There may therefore be value in screening for these illnesses and working with individuals and their families to provide monitoring, support, and effective treatment pathways. This requires specialist input as many of the physical conditions that potentially occur in 22qDS – like seizures, low calcium concentrations or low thyroid hormone concentrations – can mimic psychiatric conditions and care is needed when prescribing psychotropic medication, given potential heart conditions associated with 22qDS.”
And Prof Gulati indicates that “a higher prevalence of intellectual and/or developmental disabilities associated with 22qDS means that schoolchildren with the condition could benefit from screening and individualised support for attention deficit and/or support with communication and socialisation.”
Prof Gulati is clear that “the emphasis, as always, needs to be on individuality, inclusion, equality, and effective participation as the cornerstones of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 22q11 Ireland, as a representative organisation for people with 22qDS, has been invaluable in promoting these values and for its role in research, providing a depth of understanding of the condition through lived experience.”