Neuropsychiatric symptoms and Quality of Life in patients with very mild and mild Alzheimer's disease

School of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Neurology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Finland
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.09). 05/2011; 26(5):473 - 482. DOI: 10.1002/gps.2550

ABSTRACT Background
Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common manifestations of Alzheimer' s disease (AD).Objective
To examine the prevalence and significance of NPS in very mild and mild AD patients with emphasis on their influence on the well-being of the patients and their caregivers.Methods
The participants were 240 patient-caregiver dyads who participated in a prospective, controlled rehabilitation study (ALSOVA). Three Quality of Life (QoL) instruments were used; generic 15D, disease-specific QoL-AD and Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The disease-specific QoL-AD was both self-rated and caregiver rated. Other scales used were Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), ADCS-ADL, Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).ResultsNPS were present in 76.5% of patients with very mild AD (CDR 0.5) and in 84.9% of patients with mild to moderate AD (CDR 1). The most frequent symptoms were apathy, depression, irritability, and agitation. The strongest predictor of self-reported QoL-AD scores was depressive symptoms whereas functional decline and presence of NPS predicted poor caregiver ratings of patients' QoL. However, caregiver depression also influenced significantly their ratings.ConclusionNPS are common even in the early stages of AD. NPS were significantly associated with caregiver assessment of the patient's QoL but not with patients' self-assessed QoL. Depression decreases QoL, but may remain unrecognized in AD patients, emphasizing the need for careful and structured assessment of NPS before deciding on the appropriate treatment. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction There has been a significant increase in the use of testosterone in aging men, but little investigation into its impact on men with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The findings of the few studies that have been done are inconsistent. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between total testosterone (TT) and neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in a well-characterized sample of elderly men with mild to moderate AD. Methods The sample, which was drawn from the Texas Alzheimer’s Research Care Consortium Longitudinal Research Cohort, included 87 men who met the criteria for mild to moderate AD. The occurrence of NPS was gathered from caregivers and/or family members with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. TT was analyzed, and the sample was divided into a low-testosterone group (TT ≤2.5 ng/ml; n = 44) and a borderline/normal group (TT ≥2.6 ng/ml; n = 43). Results TT was correlated with symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, agitation, irritability and motor activity. The borderline/normal group was significantly more likely to have hallucinations (odds ratio (OR) = 5.56), delusions (OR = 3.87), motor activity (OR = 3.13) and irritability (OR = 2.77) than the low-testosterone group. Health status and apolipoprotein E ε4 status were not significant factors. Conclusions The findings of the present study have implications for the use of testosterone replacement therapy in men with AD or the prodromal stage of the disease.
    Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 05/2015; 7(1). DOI:10.1186/s13195-015-0107-4 · 3.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuropsychiatric symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) such as depression may be associated with pain, which according to the literature may be inadequately recognized and managed in this population. This study aimed to identify the factors associated with analgesic use in persons with AD; in particular, how AD severity, functional status, neuropsychiatric symptoms of AD, co-morbidities and somatic symptoms are associated with analgesic use. 236 community-dwelling persons with very mild or mild AD at baseline, and their caregivers, were interviewed over five years as part of the prospective ALSOVA study. Generalized Estimating Equations (GEEs) were used to estimate unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for the factors associated with analgesic use over a five year follow-up. The proportion of persons with AD using any analgesic was low (13.6%) at baseline and remained relatively constant during the follow-up (15.3% at Year 5). Over time, the most prevalent analgesic changed from non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (8.1% of persons with AD at Year 1) to acetaminophen (11.1% at Year 5). Depressive symptoms (measured by the Beck Depression Inventory, BDI) were independently associated with analgesic use, after effects of age, gender, education, AD severity, comorbidities and somatic symptoms were taken into account. For every one unit increase in BDI, the odds of analgesic use increased by 4% (OR = 1.04, 95% confidence interval CI = 1.02-1.07). Caregiver depressive symptoms were not statistically significantly associated with analgesic use of the person with AD. Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with analgesic use during the five year follow-up period. Possible explanations warranting investigation are that persons with AD may express depressive symptoms as painful somatic complaints, or untreated pain may cause depressive symptoms. Greater awareness of the association between depressive symptoms and analgesic use may lead to safer and more effective prescribing for these conditions.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0117926. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117926 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Measuring and predicting Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression is important in order to adjust treatment and allocate care resources. We aimed to identify a combination of subtests from the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Battery (CERAD-NB) that best correlated with AD progression in follow-up as well as to predict AD progression. A total of 236 participants with very mild [Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) = 0.5] or mild AD (CDR = 1.0) at baseline were followed up for 3 years. The CERAD-NB and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were used to assess cognition, and the CDR scale sum of boxes (CDR-sb) was employed to evaluate AD progression. Generalized estimating equations were used to develop models to predict and follow up disease progression. Performance declined on all CERAD-NB subtests. The ability of the separate subtests to distinguish between groups (baseline CDR = 0.5 or 1.0) diminished during follow-up. The best combination of subtests that explained 62% of CDR-sb variance in follow-up included verbal fluency, constructional praxis, the clock drawing test, and the MMSE. Baseline values of the same combination predicted 37% of the CDR-sb change. A short version of the CERAD-NB subtests provides a promising and time-efficient alternative for measuring cognitive deterioration during AD follow-up. Although the initial signs of AD include memory difficulties, it may be useful to assess non-memory tasks in follow-up.