Prediction of psychosis onset in Alzheimer disease: The role of cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms, and further evidence for psychosis subtypes
ABSTRACT Psychotic symptoms in Alzheimer disease (AD+P) identify a heritable phenotype associated with more rapid cognitive decline. The authors have proposed that AD+P is itself a composite of a misidentification and a paranoid subtype with increased cognitive impairment restricted to the misidentification type. Most prior studies of the clinical correlates of AD+P have been limited, however, by the inclusion of prevalent cases.
Subjects with possible or probable AD or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) without psychosis at study entry were assessed at the time of initial presentation and then annually. Psychotic symptoms were assessed using the CERAD Behavioral Rating Scale. Survival analyses used Cox proportional hazard models with time-dependent covariates to examine the predictors of psychosis onset.
A total of 288 subjects completed at least one follow-up examination. Mean duration of follow-up was 22.1 months. The incidence of psychosis was 0.19 per person-year. Cognitive impairment was associated with onset of psychosis, largely as a result of its association with onset of the misidentification, but not the paranoid, subtype. Including psychotropic medication use in the model revealed an association of antidepressant use with the onset of psychosis. This latter association appeared to arise from an underlying association between depression and the risk of psychosis onset rather than from antidepressant treatment.
These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the misidentification and the paranoid subtypes each define a more biologically homogeneous group than AD+P as a whole. Further exploration of the relationship between depressive symptoms and psychosis in patients with AD is warranted.
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ABSTRACT: Objective An ascendant body of evidence suggests that Alzheimer disease with psychosis (AD+P) is a distinct variant of illness with its own genetic diathesis and a unique clinical course. Impaired frontal lobe function has been previously implicated in AD+P. The current exploratory study, presented in two parts, evaluates both the regional brain metabolic and psychometric correlates of psychosis in a longitudinal sample of subjects with AD, made available by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Methods In Part 1 of the study, 21 ADNI participants with AD who developed psychotic symptoms during the study but were not psychotic at baseline were matched with 21 participants with AD who never became psychotic during the study period, and mean brain [F18]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) Cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (CMRgl) by regions of interest (ROIs) were compared Additionally, 39 participants with active psychosis at the time of image acquisition were matched with 39 participants who were never psychotic during the study period, and mean brain FDG-PET CMRgl by sROI were compared. In Part 2 of the study, 354 ADNI participants with AD who were followed for 24 months with serial psychometric testing were identified, and cognitive performance and decline were evaluated for correlation with psychotic symptoms. Results Part 1: There were no regional brain metabolic differences between those with AD destined to become psychotic and those who did not become psychotic. There was a significant reduction in mean orbitofrontal brain metabolism in those with active psychosis. Part 2: Over the course of study follow-up, psychosis was associated with accelerated decline in functional performance as measured by the Functional Assessment Questionnaire, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and Forward Digit Span. Conclusion In a sample drawn from the ADNI dataset, our exploratory FDG-PET findings and longitudinal cognitive outcomes support the hypofrontality model of AD+P. Focal frontal vulnerability may mediate the accelerated decline seen in AD+P.American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 07/2014; 22(7). DOI:10.1016/j.jagp.2012.10.028 · 3.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aims: To investigate the relationship between psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: A total of 108 subjects affected by AD were subdivided into subjects without delusions (ND), subjects with paranoid delusions (PD), subjects with delusional misidentifications (DM), subjects with both DM and PD (DM+PD), subjects with visual hallucinations (v-HALL), and subjects without visual hallucinations (N-HALL). Results: PD and ND subjects performed similarly on neuropsychological tests, while DM patients performed significantly worse than PD and ND patients. v-HALL patients performed worse than N-HALL patients on memory, visuospatial, and executive functions. As for behavioral features, DM and v-HALL subjects reported higher scores on the abnormal motor behavior subscale of the neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI); PD subjects reported higher scores on the disinhibition subscale of the NPI. The severity of PD was predicted by the severity of disinhibition (B = 0.514; p = 0.016) but not by neuropsychological performances. The severity of DM was predicted by age (B = 0.099; p = 0.048) and MMSE (B = -0.233; p = 0.001). The severity of v-HALL was predicted by age (B = 0.052; p = 0.037) and scores on an immediate visual memory task (B = -0.135; p = 0.007). Conclusions: The occurrence of PD may require the relative sparing of cognitive functions and be favored by frontal lobe dysfunction, while DM is associated with the overall level of cognitive impairment. Finally, v-HALL are associated with the impairment of visuospatial abilities. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 01/2015; 39(3-4):194-206. DOI:10.1159/000369161 · 2.81 Impact Factor
Article: Psychosis in Alzheimer's Disease.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Psychotic symptoms, delusions and hallucinations, occur in approximately 50% of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (AD with psychosis [AD + P]). Pharmacotherapies for AD + P have limited efficacy and can increase short-term mortality. These observations have motivated efforts to identify the underlying biology of AD + P. Psychosis in AD indicates a more severe phenotype, with more rapid cognitive decline beginning even before psychosis onset. Neuroimaging studies suggest that AD + P subjects demonstrate greater cortical synaptic impairments than AD subjects without psychosis, reflected in reduced gray matter volume, reduced regional blood flow, and reduced regional glucose metabolism. Neuroimaging and available postmortem evidence further indicate that the impairments in AD + P, relative to AD subjects without psychosis, are localized to neocortex rather than medial temporal lobe. Neuropathologic studies provide consistent evidence of accelerated accumulation of hyperphosphorylated microtubule associated protein tau in AD + P. Finally, studies of familial aggregation of AD + P have established that the risk for psychosis in AD is, in part, genetically mediated. Although no genes are established as associated with AD + P, the first genome-wide association study of AD + P has generated some promising leads. The study of the neurobiology of AD + P is rapidly accelerating and may be poised for translational discovery. This process can be enhanced by identifying points of convergence and divergence with the neurobiology of AD proper and of schizophrenia, by innovative extension of current approaches, and by development of relevant animal models.Biological psychiatry 10/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.08.020 · 9.47 Impact Factor