eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 13
Clinical research

Neuropsychiatric symptoms and faster progression of cognitive impairments as predictors of risk of conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia

Mariola Bidzan
Leszek Bidzan
Ilona Bidzan-Bluma

Arch Med Sci 2017; 13, 5: 1168–1177
Online publish date: 2017/07/17
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Introduction: The aim of this research, based on 7 years of observations, was to assess the relationship between the dynamics of changes in the realm of cognitive functions in the early stages of observations and the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms as well as further progression of cognitive function impairments in people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Material and methods: One hundred and ninety three individuals were included in the study, all of whom referred themselves to the Mental Health Clinic and were diagnosed with MCI based on the criteria of the Working Group on MCI. It was assumed that these individuals would be subjected to systematic psychiatric and neuropsychological observation until they were diagnosed with dementia. This report concerns a completed 7-year period of these observations. Participants were assessed based on the following scales: MMSE, NPI and GDS.

Results: The obtained results indicate statistically significant differences between groups of subjects at the time of inclusion in the study, regarding the frequency of occurrence and severity of the following categories of impairments: thought impairments (p < 0.001), arousal/aggression (p < 0.001), depression/dysphoria (p < 0.001), disinhibition (p < 0.03), irritability/lability (p < 0.001), abnormal motor behaviors (p < 0.02), as well as sleep and night-time behavior disorders (p < 0.01) Moreover, individuals who developed dementia during observation exhibited greater progression in cognitive function impairment assessed with the MMSE scale in the first year of observation (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The accruing of cognitive function impairments and the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms seem to be important risk factors for the development of dementia.

dementia, neuropsychology, mild cognitive impairment, cognitive impairments, neuropsychiatry

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