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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2002 Summer;14(3):296-302.

Behavioral problems as predictors of functional abilities of vascular dementia patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, USA.


The relationship of behavioral disturbance and dementia severity to activities of daily living (ADLs) in vascular dementia (VaD) was examined in baseline data for 29 VaD patients. A series of stepwise regression analyses was conducted to examine the extent to which dementia severity, apathy, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction predict ADLs (total, basic, and instrumental). For total ADLs, apathy accounted for 36% of the variance and dementia severity accounted for an additional 15%. For basic ADLs, apathy accounted for 27% of the variance. Dementia severity, executive dysfunction, and disinhibition were not significantly associated with basic ADLs. For instrumental ADLs, dementia severity accounted for 37% of the variance and apathy accounted for an additional 14%. These findings highlight the importance of apathy as an independent factor associated with functional independence beyond general cognitive abilities.

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