JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prognosis of Alzheimer's disease today: a two-year prospective study in 686 patients from the REAL-FR Study

Frédéric Cortes, Fati Nourhashémi, Olivier Guérin, Christelle Cantet, Sophie Gillette-Guyonnet, Sandrine Andrieu, Pierre-Jean Ousset, Bruno Vellas et al.
Alzheimer's & Dementia: the Journal of the Alzheimer's Association 2008, 4 (1): 22-9
18631947

BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to describe the long-term evolution of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in a prospective cohort of patients under treatment with a close follow-up.

METHODS: Six hundred eighty-six AD patients from the French Network on AD (REAL-FR) were followed up and assessed every 6 months for 2 years. Cognitive, functional, behavioral, nutritional, and global status were evaluated by using Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), cognitive subscale of AD Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog), Activities of Daily Living scale (ADL), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR).

RESULTS: There were 85.13% of patients who were specifically treated for AD during their participation in the study. We observed significant changes (P < .0001) on MMSE, -4.57 +/- 0.23; ADAS-cog, 7.11 +/- 0.41; ADL, -1.32 +/- 0.07; NPI, 2.94 +/- 0.77; MNA, -0.81 +/- 0.17; and sum of boxes of the CDR (CDR-SB), 4.17 +/- 0.17. After 2 years, 10.79% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.47 to 13.11) of the patients evolved twice as rapidly as the mean of the whole cohort on MMSE (loss, > or =9 points), 65.89% (95% CI, 62.34 to 69.44) reported a loss of 3 to 9 points, and 23.32% (95% CI, 20.16 to 26.46) were stable or improved (loss of -2 points maximum). Annual incidences for institutionalization, hospitalization, and death were 11.84% (95% CI, 9.76 to 13.92), 26.13% (95% CI, 22.52 to 29.74), and 5.95% (95% CI, 4.56 to 7.34), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: In a recent large AD cohort mostly under treatment, AD evolution appeared to be variable, with high incidences for death or institutionalization and with 11.84% of the patients exhibiting a rapid cognitive decline, whereas one fourth of the cohort appeared in relatively stable condition, and two thirds had a moderate but significant evolution of the disease. More studies are needed to better understand these variations in patients' evolution.

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