Assessment of Behavioral and Affective Symptoms in Alzheimer’s Disease
Marian B. Patterson, PhD; Audrey H. Schnell, MA; Richard J. Martin, ND, RN; Mario F. Mendez, MD; Kathleen A. Smyth, PhD; Peter J. Whitehouse, MD, PhD
Noncognitive behavioral symptoms occurring during the prior week were studied in 34 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients spousal control subjects via caregiver and patient interviews using the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease Rating Scale and the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia. Delusional or paranoid features were reported in 13 subjects (38%) and hallucinations in six (18%); patients with these psychoticlike symptoms had lower scores on the Folstein’s Mini-Mental State Examination. Other behavioral symptoms reported in AD patients included anxiety (50%) and activity disturbances (44%). Six AD subjects (18%) and two controls (10%) showed mild to moderate symptoms of depression ; AD subjects were more likely than controls to show behavioral signs and symptoms of depression, but the two groups did not differ in terms of mood-related, cyclical, or physical signs and symptoms. (J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol
common occurrence of noncognitive behavioral symptoms in patients with dementia has been widely rec®gnized.1-3 Among outpatients with dementia, the incidence of depressive symptoms has been estimated to be between 15% and 40%.4-6 Estimates have ranged from 21% to 57% for delusions or paranoia and from 12% to 30% for hallucinations .2,7-10 Although less well studied in outpatients, other significant problems are agitation, occurring in 48% of the medical records of a series of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients,2 and aggression, occurring in 10% .11 The reasons for the variations among estimates include differences between pa-
ascertaining the presence psychiatric symptoms diagnoses, and instruments used in measuring symptoms, and variations in rater and instrument...