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Neurocase. 2005 Feb;11(1):65-71.

Non-cognitive symptoms in mild cognitive impairment subjects.

Author information

1
Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. lopezol@upmc.edu

Abstract

The term mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is used to identify individuals with worse cognitive performance than those with normal aging, and who are at risk of dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although the MCI concept is based on the presence of specific cognitive deficits, several studies have shown that these subjects can develop depression, disruptive behaviors (e.g., agitation, aggression), and psychosis. In this study, we examined the baseline psychiatric characteristics of 228 MCI (Mean age: 71.2, Mini-mental State Examination [MMSE] score: 25.9) and 427 mildly demented Probable AD (Mean age: 73.2; Mean MMSE score: 23.5) subjects from a referral dementia clinic. The psychiatric assessment was conducted by geriatric psychiatrists using semi-structured interviews. The proportion of subjects with major depression (MCI: 7.5% vs. Probable AD: 8%) and aggression (MCI: 10% vs. Probable AD: 12.5%) was similar in the two groups. There were more Probable AD patients with psychomotor agitation (52% vs. 38%), delusions (29% vs. 14%), and hallucinations (9% vs. 4%) than MCI subjects. Within MCI groups, we did not observe any differences between MCI subjects with amnesic syndrome versus MCI subjects with a much broader cognitive deficit. These results showed that the MCI syndrome is not circumscribed to a neuropsychological definition, but occurs with a wide range of psychiatric syndromes. Furthermore, it is possible that the development of disruptive behaviors and psychosis, in MCI subjects with no previous history of psychiatric illness, constitutes a strong indication that there is an underlying neurodegenerative disorder.

PMID:
15804926
DOI:
10.1080/13554790490896893
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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