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Cognitive and behavioural predictors of survival in Alzheimer disease: results from a sample of treated patients in a tertiary-referral memory clinic

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-53
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


OBJECTIVE: This study examined the influence of cognitive and non-cognitive factors at the time of diagnosis on the survival of patients with treated probable Alzheimer Disease (AD).

METHODS: Consecutive patients seen at a regional, tertiary-referral clinic completed a battery of cognitive tests and assessments of activities of daily living and neuropsychiatric symptoms. These clinic data were linked with death certificate data for all individuals and survival from diagnosis was calculated. Cox regression models were constructed using the baseline covariates.

RESULTS: The sample comprised 653 patients (459 women), mean age 77.1 years (SD 7.6, range 48-94 years), diagnosed with probable AD and treated with a cholinesterase inhibitor. In the survival analysis, age was a consistently significant predictor of survival with a gender-adjusted hazard ratio of 1.35 (95% CI 1.23, 1.48) for one standard deviation increase in age. Men were at greater risk of death than women (age-adjusted HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.19, 1.73). In a model adjusted for all study variables, Paired-Associate Learning (Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Assessment Battery) and the psychotic factor of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory were significant predictors of survival.

CONCLUSIONS: At diagnosis, in addition to the anticipated impact of age and gender, the presence of psychotic symptoms and poor performance on paired-associate learning are also indicators of poor prognosis.

    Research areas

  • Activities of Daily Living, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Cognition Disorders, Death Certificates, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Prognosis, Regression Analysis, Sex Factors, Survival Analysis

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