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March 1992

Personality Changes in Alzheimer's Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill (Drs Bózzola and Gorelick), and the School of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biometry Program, University of Illinois, Chicago (Drs Gorelick and Freels).

Arch Neurol. 1992;49(3):297-300. doi:10.1001/archneur.1992.00530270117027

• We profiled personality changes that were measured cross-sectionally on the Blessed Dementia Scale in 80 patients with Alzheimer's disease who were examined at a dementia clinic. The most common personality changes were diminished initiative/growing apathy (61.3%), relinquishment of hobbies (55.0%), and increased rigidity (41.3%). The least frequent personality change was sexual misdemeanor (3.8%). Discriminant function analysis showed that the Global Deterioration Scale, the Clinical Rating Scale for Symptoms of Psychosis in Alzheimer's Disease, and the duration of dementia symptoms were the best predictors to classify personality change in an overall score of personality. However, cognitive impairment, as measured by the Blessed Memory-Information-Concentration Test and Mini-Mental State Examination, was not a good predictor of overall personality change. Personality and behavioral changes are common in Alzheimer's disease and may not be attributed entirely to intellectual impairment.

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