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Neuropsychiatric symptoms and executive function impairments in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia: The role of subcortical circuits.

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Published:1st Jul 2019
Author: Tiel C, Sudo FK, Calmon AB.
Availability: Free full text
Ref.:Dement Neuropsychol. 2019;13(3):293-298.
DOI:10.1590/1980-57642018dn13-030005
Neuropsychiatric symptoms and executive function impairments in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia: The role of subcortical circuits


Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in dementia are prevalent, under-recognized and little studied regarding their pathophysiological aspects. The pathophysiological mechanism, as well as the possible role of vascular lesions in the genesis of these symptoms, are still matters of debate.

Objective: to describe and compare the prevalence and severity of NPS in subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD).

Methods: a cross-sectional study involving 82 outpatients, divided into two groups (AD × VaD), was conducted. Patients were submitted to the Cambridge Cognitive Test (CAMCOG), the Clock Drawing Test (CLOX 1 and 2), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Neuroimaging was scored using the de Leon and Fazekas scales.

Results: 90.8% of the patients had at least one neuropsychiatric symptom. There were statistical differences on the CLOX test and in the apathy symptoms between AD and VaD groups. Apathy and disinhibition proved more prevalent in patients with higher vascular load.

Conclusion: apathy and impaired executive function may reflect vascular damage in subcortical circuits in dementia patients.

 

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