Neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with Alzheimer's disease with a vascular component

Annals of agricultural and environmental medicine: AAEM (Impact Factor: 1.13). 06/2014; 21(2):412-415. DOI: 10.5604/1232-1966.1108615
Source: PubMed


Vascular changes are observed in most cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Observations of AD and vascular disease (VD) allow us to surmise that vascular changes may not only affect cognitive impairment in AD but may also have a negative influence on the neuropsychiatric symptoms which often occur in the course of the disease. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of vascular factors on the neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's Disease.

Material and methods:
The study included 48 people with a preliminary diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease on the basis of NINCDS/ADRDA criteria. The evaluation of impairments in cognitive functioning was carried out by means of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale - the cognitive part (ADAS - cog), whereas the behavioural and psychological symptoms were evaluated by means of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory - the version adapted for residents of nursing homes for the elderly (Neuropsychiatric Inventory - Nursing Home Version) (NPI - NH). The score on the Hachinski scale was the basis for dividing the study participants into two groups - those with a mild vascular component (0-1 points on the Hachinski scale) and those with a severe vascular component (2-4 points).

The analyzed groups did not differ with respect to the intensity of cognitive impairments (ADAS-cog) or age of the participants. Scores obtained on the NPI - NH scale as well as some of its elements (depression/dysphoria and anxiety) had a discriminating value. Studies show that vascular factors are a serious risk factor for neuropsychiatric symptoms in AD.

Vascular factors in Alzheimer's Disease influence the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms. In the course of angiogenic dementia a greater frequency in depressive disorders was shown. The most visible differences between individuals with a greater and lesser burden of vascular factors was in the realm of depressive and dysphoric disorders.

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Available from: Mariola Bidzan, Jun 22, 2014
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