Background: Rapid Cognitive Decline (RCD) in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is associated
with a worse disease progression. There is no consensual predictor of RCD and only a few
studies have focused on RCD in late-onset dementia, the most common form of AD.
Objective: To identify the predictors of RCD, in a population of community-dwelling patients with
recently diagnosed late onset AD.
Methods: Community-dwelling subjects aged >75 consulting for the first time in Old Age Memory
outpatient center from 2009 to 2012 were considered. All patients underwent a standardized clinical
dementia investigation. Patients were classified as rapid decliners when they demonstrated a loss of
3 points or greater in MMSE during the first six months.
Results: 130 patients were included (42 males, 88 females, mean ages 82.7±4.58). The average
baseline MMSE score was 23.36±3.78. In regression analysis, the Free Recall Scores, categorical
fluency scores were the most highly predictive of RCD.
Conclusion: These results are important for the design of clinical trials and also, in clinical practice,
for both physicians and families in planning long-term care.