Behavioural and psychological symptoms in neurocognitive disorders: Specific patterns in dementia subtypes

Réka Majer, Viktória Simon, László Csiba, László Kardos, Ede Frecska, Tibor Hortobagyi

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Behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia (BPSD) form an important sub-syndrome of dementia. We assessed the frequency and severity of BPSD in a random sample of Hungarian treatment-naïve dementia patients. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between cognitive symptoms and BPSD and the pattern of BPSD in specific types of dementias. Patients (n=131) were classified into 3 groups: Alzheimer's (AD), vascular (VD), and mixed (MD) dementia. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) neuropsychological tests were employed. Mean age and MMSE score did not differ significantly among groups. BPSD was frequent (100% prevalence, NPI mean total Frequency score: 14.58, SD=7.55); abnormal motor behaviour showed the highest frequency. Hallucinations and delusions were related to the aetiology of dementia and were independent of the level of cognitive deterioration, whereas irritability, sleep-wake cycle dysfunctions, and eating-appetite change were associated with cognitive deterioration and were independent from aetiology. Both aberrant motor behaviour and disinhibition were significantly associated with aetiology and cognitive deterioration. BPSD symptoms are significant constituents of dementia syndromes, affecting quality of life and substantially contributing to the caregiver's burden. Specific symptom patterns can be identified in different types of dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Medicine (Poland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Behaviour and psychological symptoms in dementia (BPSD)
  • Dementia
  • Neurocognitive disorder
  • Vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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