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Sex Differences in the Severity and Progression of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Across Different Dementia Types.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Dementia presents not only differing neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) across Alzheimer disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but also subjective cognitive decline (SCD). This study examined sex-based variations in NPS severity and progression across these conditions.

METHODS: We performed a longitudinal cohort study including 1,068 participants. Hierarchical generalized linear mixed models were used to model NPS as a function of disease severity and biological sex at birth.

RESULTS: Female participants with AD exhibited NPS more frequently than male participants. In FTD, female participants had more frequent delusions, hallucinations, and depression/dysphoria, while male participants had higher instances of agitation/aggression, apathy, disinhibition, and irritability/lability. In DLB, male participants showed higher instances of depression, and female participants more frequently experienced anxiety. In SCD, female participants showed higher nighttime behaviors. The trajectory of NPS significantly differed between sexes.

DISCUSSION: These findings highlight sex-specific NPS impact in different neurodegenerative conditions.

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