Systematic review on behavioural and psychological symptoms in the older or demented population

Department of Public Health and Primary Care - Forvie Site, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR, UK. .
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.98). 07/2012; 4(4):28. DOI: 10.1186/alzrt131
Source: PubMed


Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPS) include depressive symptoms, anxiety, apathy, sleep problems, irritability, psychosis, wandering, elation and agitation, and are common in the non-demented and demented population.
We have undertaken a systematic review of reviews to give a broad overview of the prevalence, course, biological and psychosocial associations, care and outcomes of BPS in the older or demented population, and highlight limitations and gaps in existing research. Embase and Medline were searched for systematic reviews using search terms for BPS, dementia and ageing.
Thirty-six reviews were identified. Most investigated the prevalence or course of symptoms, while few reviewed the effects of BPS on outcomes and care. BPS were found to occur in non-demented, cognitively impaired and demented people, but reported estimates vary widely. Biological factors associated with BPS in dementia include genetic factors, homocysteine levels and vascular changes. Psychosocial factors increase risk of BPS; however, across studies and between symptoms findings are inconsistent. BPS have been associated with burden of care, caregiver's general health and caregiver depression scores, but findings are limited regarding institutionalisation, quality of life and disease outcome.
Limitations of reviews include a lack of high quality reviews, particularly of BPS other than depression. Limitations of original studies include heterogeneity in study design particularly related to measurement of BPS, level of cognitive impairment, population characteristics and participant recruitment. It is our recommendation that more high quality reviews, including all BPS, and longitudinal studies with larger sample sizes that use frequently cited instruments to measure BPS are undertaken. A better understanding of the risk factors and course of BPS will inform prevention, treatment and management and possibly improve quality of life for the patients and their carers.

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    • "A group of AD patients without BPSD symptoms (AD noBPSD ) was identified and represented the main group of comparison in both neuropsychological and imaging data analyses. Although apathy is an important symptom within the AD pathology , its clustering is still not well described in literature [3], and for this reason apathy was not considered in current analyses. The correlation between behavioral and neuropsychological scores was estimated by using the Pearson correlation coefficient along with the p value performed in SPSS statistical package (SPSS Inc., Chicago IL). "
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral disorders and psychological symptoms (BPSD) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are known to correlate with grey matter (GM) atrophy and, as shown recently, also with white matter (WM) damage. WM damage and its relationship with GM atrophy are reported in AD, reinforcing the interpretation of the AD pathology in light of a disconnection syndrome. It remains uncertain whether this disconnection might account also for different BPSD observable in AD. Here, we tested the hypothesis of different patterns of association between WM damage of the corpus callosum (CC) and GM atrophy in AD patients exhibiting one of the following BPSD clusters: Mood (i.e., anxiety and depression; ADmood), Frontal (i.e., dishinibition and elation; ADfrontal), and Psychotic (delusions and hallucinations; ADpsychotic) related symptoms, as well as AD patients without BPSD. Overall, this study brings to light the strict relationship between WM alterations in different parts of the CC and GM atrophy in AD patients exhibiting BPSD, supporting the hypothesis that such symptoms are likely to be caused by characteristic patterns of neurodegeneration of WM and GM, rather than being a reactive response to accumulation of cognitive disabilities, and should therefore be regarded as potential markers of diagnostic and prognostic value in AD.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2016 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    • "In agreement with previous reports of the high incidence of BPSD in dementia patients [1] [15], 99% of the patients in this study showed some behavioral symptom, even if mild. Comparisons of the occurrence frequency and severity level among the dementia groups revealed great similarity for most of the BPSD investigated. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological correlates of behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPSD) in patients affected by various forms of dementia, namely Alzheimer's disease (AD), frontal-variant frontotemporal dementia (fvFTD), Lewy body dementia (LBD), and subcortical ischemic vascular dementia (SIVD). 21 fvFTD, 21 LBD, 22 AD, and 22 SIVD patients matched for dementia severity received a battery of neuropsychological tests and the Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI). The possible association between performance on neuropsychological tests and severity of BPSD was assessed by correlational analysis and multivariate regression. BPSD were present in 99% of patients. Most behavioral symptoms were not related to a particular dementia group or to a specific cognitive deficit. Euphoria and disinhibition were predicted by fvFTD diagnosis. Hallucinations correlated with the severity of visuospatial deficits in the whole sample of patients and were predicted by LBD membership. Apathy, which was found in all dementia groups, correlated with executive functions and was predicted by both reduced set-shifting aptitude and fvFTD diagnosis. The results confirm the high prevalence of BPSD in the mild to moderate stages of dementia and show that most BPSD are equally distributed across dementia groups. Most of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms are independent dimensions of the dementia syndromes. Nevertheless, hallucinations in LBD and euphoria and disinhibition in fvFTD are related to the structural brain alterations that are responsible for cognitive decline in these dementia groups. Finally, apathy arises from damage in the frontal cortical areas that are also involved in executive functions.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    • "The prevalence of challenging behavior in people with dementia is 78% globally [3]. Similarly, [4] up to 90% of German residents with dementia have challenging behaviors [5]. The most frequent symptoms are depressive symptoms followed by aggression [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundThe main objective of care for people with dementia is the maintenance and promotion of quality of life (Qol). Most of the residents in nursing homes have challenging behaviors that strongly affect their Qol. Person-centered care (PCC) is an approach that aims to achieve the best possible Qol and to reduce challenging behaviors. Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is a method of implementing PCC that has been used in Germany for several years. However, there are no data on the effectiveness of DCM or the challenges of implementation of DCM in German nursing homes.Methods/designIn this quasi-experimental non-randomized cluster-controlled study, the effects of DCM will be compared to 2 comparison groups. 9 nursing homes will take part: 3 will implement DCM, 3 will implement a comparison intervention using an alternative Qol assessment, and 3 have already implemented DCM. The main effect outcomes are Qol, challenging behaviors, staff attitudes toward dementia, job satisfaction and burnout of caregivers. These outcomes will be measured on 3 data points. Different quantitative and qualitative data sources will be collected through the course of the study to investigate the degree of implementation as well as facilitators of and barriers to the implementation process.DiscussionThis study will provide new information about the effectiveness of DCM and the implementation process of DCM in German nursing homes. The study results will provide important information to guide the national discussion about the improvement of dementia-specific Qol, quality of care in nursing homes and allocation of resources. In addition, the study results will provide information for decision-making and implementation of complex psychosocial interventions such as DCM. The findings will also be important for the design of a subsequent randomized controlled trial (e.g. appropriateness of outcomes and measurements, inclusion criteria for participating nursing homes) and the development of a successful implementation strategy.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN43916381.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · BMC Geriatrics
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