Neuropsychiatric Symptoms May Predict Alzheimer’s Progression

Mild Alzheimer's patients with psychosis and agitation/aggression more rapidly progressed to severe dementia and even death.

A range of neuropsychiatric symptoms are associated with earlier progression to severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and earlier death, new research shows.

Using data from a landmark longitudinal study, investigators at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, found that psychotic and affective symptoms had a differential impact on the speed of progression to severe AD and death.

Nevertheless, the presence of at least one clinically significant neuropsychiatric symptom predicted progression to both outcomes.

To examine the link between clinically significant neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with mild AD and progression to severe dementia or death, the investigators analyzed data from the Cache County Dementia Progression Study, in which 5092 residents aged 65 years and older were recruited in 1995 and then screened at 3- to 5-year intervals.

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