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OBJECTIVES—Many clinical and biological factors
have been reported to be associated with the presence of psychosis in
patients with Alzheimer's disease, although the associations were
variable. The aim of this study was to clarify factors associated with
the presence of psychosis in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
METHODS—Psychiatric functioning was studied in 228 patients with Alzheimer's disease based on the results of the behavioural pathology in Alzheimer's disease rating scale or the neuropsychiatric inventory. The effects of sex, education level, age, duration of illness, cognitive function, and apolipoprotein E genotype were investigated for dichotomous psychotic status with a multiple logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS—Of the 228 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 118 (51.8%) showed evidence of delusions or hallucinations. Of these, 94 had delusions only, three had hallucinations only, and 21 had both. Older age, female sex, longer duration of illness, and more severe cognitive impairment were the factors independently associated with the presence of psychosis. The presence of psychosis was not significantly related to either educational level or apolipoprotein E genotype.
CONCLUSIONS—Age, sex, and severity of illness were independent factors associated with the presence of psychosis in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The reason why some patients with Alzheimer's disease develop psychosis remains unclear. There may be distinctive subtypes of Alzheimer's disease or the presence of individual factors which affect the development of psychosis.