Prevalence of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia
Pp. 260-280 (21)
Manuel Fernández-Martínez, Jassica Castro, Ana Molano, Juan J. Zarranz, Rosa M. Rodrigo and Rafael Ortega
Objetive: The study aimed to describe the prevalence and severity of
neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular
Patients and methods: We prospectively studied 65 patients with dementia, 37 met the
criteria of NINCDS-ADRDA for probable AD and 28 the clinical and radiological
criteria of NINDS-AIREN for VaD. Among VaD patients, 22 met the radiological
criteria for subcortical VaD. The Minimental State Examination (MMSE) and the
Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) were used to evaluate cognitive and neuropsychiatric
symptoms. All patients underwent a neuroimaging study (CT scan and/or MRI).
Patients were not treated with antidementia or psychotropic drugs.
Results: Age, gender, educational level and MMSE scores did not differ between
patients (p >0.05). The total prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms was similar in
both groups (AD 94.6% vs. VaD 96.4%, p= 0.727). Sleep disturbances (35.1% vs. 3.6%,
p =0.002) and appetite changes (37.8% vs. 14.3%, p = 0.032) were more prevalent in
AD patients than in VaD patients who met the NINDS-AIREN criteria. Sleep
disturbances (35.1% vs. 4.5%, p =0.008), appetite changes (37.8% vs. 13.6%, p = 0.047)
and aberrant motor behaviour (24.3% vs. 0%, p =0.012) were more prevalent in AD
patients than in subcortical VaD. The total scores for sleep disturbance, appetite
changes and aberrant motor behaviour were higher in AD patients (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: There were no significant differences between AD and VaD patients,
except that sleep disturbances, appetite changes and aberrant motor behaviour that were
more prevalent and severe in AD.
Dementia, neuropsychiatric inventory, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular
dementia, subcortical vascular dementia, NINDS-AIREN criteria, NINCDSADRDA
criteria, Erkinjuntti criteria, Minimental State Examination, MRI scan,
Hachinski ischemic score, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, aberrant motor
behavioural, apathy, periventricular white matter hyperintensities, deep white matter
hyperintensities, cognitive function, stroke.
Neurological Department, Hospital de Cruces, Plaza de Cruces s/n, Baracaldo, 48903, Vizcaya, Spain.