Anxiety and behavioural disturbances as markers of prodromal Alzheimer’s disease in patients with mild cognitive impairment
In another article concerned with predicting conversion of MCI to Alzheimer’s disease, Gallagher et al. (2011) followed 169 patients with MCI over 27 months, 69 (43%) of whom converted to Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed with the Behavioural Pathology in Alzheimer’s disease (BEHAVE-AD) rating scale. Survival analysis revealed that patients with MCI who had symptoms of anticipated anxiety and purposeless activity were approximately twice as likely to have earlier conversion to Alzheimer’s disease than patients with MCI who did not have these symptoms. This finding was independent of age, gender and education. However, since this finding was not independent of cognitive status at baseline, it may be, as the authors conclude, that the neuropsychiatric symptoms of anticipated anxiety and purposeless activity are markers of severity of disease rather than independent predictors of disease progression.
GALLAGHER, D., COEN, R., KILROY, D., BELINSKI, K., BRUCE, I., COAKLEY, D., WALSH, J.B., CUNNINGHAM, C. AND LAWLOR, B.A. 2011. Anxiety and behavioural disturbances as markers of prodromal Alzheimer’s disease in patients with mild cognitive impairment, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(2), 166-72.