Early behavioral symptoms and course of Alzheimer's disease

M. F. Weiner, L. S. Hynan, M. E. Bret, C. White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if behavioral symptoms detected at initial evaluation relate to cognitive or functional status or survival time in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. 7 Method: Review, in 100 cases of autopsy-proven AD, of the relationship of behavioral symptoms detected at initial evaluation to cognitive and global function measures and survival time. Results: Behavioral symptoms had occurred in 74% of patients, including apathy (51%), hallucinations (25%), delusions (20%) and depressed mood (6.6%). Verbal aggression was common (36.8%); physical aggression less so (17%). The symptomatic group was more functionally (but not cognitively) impaired and had shorter median survival time (8 years: 95% CI: 7-9 years vs. 10 years: 95% CI: 8-12 years; P = 0.002) than the asymptomatic group. The presence of any one symptom at initial evaluation accounted for 6.1 % of the variance in duration of illness. Conclusion: Presence of behavioral symptoms at initial evaluation of AD patients is associated with greater functional impairment and shorter survival time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-371
Number of pages5
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Behavioral symptoms
  • Function
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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