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J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2001 Spring;14(1):52-8.

Anxiety and Alzheimer's disease.

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Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Washington, USA.


This study investigated symptoms of anxiety in two samples of clinic outpatients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Clinician and caregiver reports were obtained using standardized measures to characterize a broad array of anxiety symptoms. Anxiety symptoms were reported for a substantial proportion of subjects, regardless of whether clinician or caregiver ratings were used. Anxious or worried appearance was most common (68% to 71%), followed by fearfulness, tension, restlessness, and fidgeting (37% to 57%). Sleep disturbance and various somatic symptoms were less common (8% to 34%). Although anxiety symptoms were prevalent, only 5% to 6% of subjects met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. In both samples, anxiety symptoms were associated with depression, behavioral disturbances, and increased cognitive impairment. Study findings support a high occurrence of anxiety in patients with dementia, and treatments for anxiety might therefore be helpful in reducing the psychiatric burden of AD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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