Variables linked to psychotic symptoms in Alzheimer's disease

S Della Sala, A Francescani, S Muggia, H Spinnler

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Abstract

This study is aimed at assessing the prevalence and features of psychotic symptoms in a sample of 180 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Sixty-four patients (35.5% of the sample) showed one or more psychotic symptoms. The presence of these symptoms correlated with the severity of the patients' cognitive impairment, as well as the patients' age at first assessement. Sex, duration of illness, education and familiar history for dementia were not significantly correlated with the psychotic symptoms. Hallucination was the most common symptom (24.4%, of the whole sample), followed by delusion (18.3%) and misperception (11.1%). Visual hallucinations were more frequent than auditory, and, among delusions, persecutory and theft themes were largely prevailing. Misperceptions included television related phenomena and phantom boarder illusions. A follow-up study of 37 patients demonstrated the association between the presence of psychotic symptoms and a steeper slope of cognitive deterioration. Eur J Neurol 5:553-560 (C) 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-560
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998

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