Psychopathology and cognitive decline in dementia

D Becker, M Hershkowitz, N Maidler, M Rabinowitz, S Floru
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 1994, 182 (12): 701-3
This study investigated the correlation between the degree and quality of cognitive impairment and the presence and degree of severity of psychopathology. Sixty-four demented outpatients were rated for cognition by the Mental Status Questionnaire and for psychopathology by the BEHAVE-AD Reisberg questionnaire. A statistical analysis of the correlations between the cognitive and psychopathological parameters was performed. The study indicated a high rate of psychopathology (as high as 83% of the patients). No significant correlation was found between the cognitive grading score and the presence of psychopathology, except in the space of declined spatial orientation and the occurrence of hallucinations. Psychopathology is a common phenomenon occurring in the course of dementia in the form of Alzheimer's disease or multi-infarct dementia. There is a certain increase in the degree of psychopathology that correlated with cognitive impairment. The high correlation between impaired spatial orientation and the presence of hallucinations seems to point to a common neuropathological substrate.

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