Comparing the Neuropsychiatric Profile of Patients with Alzheimer Disease Who Present Spared versus Impaired Executive Functioning

Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2011:2011:514059. doi: 10.1155/2011/514059. Epub 2011 Oct 26.


Background. A "dysexecutive" group of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) has been previously identified, and these patients have been found to present higher frequency of psychiatric symptoms and more pronounced functional impact. This study aimed at evaluating the frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with early AD who present with impaired executive functioning. Methods. Thirty patients with early AD diagnosis were divided into a spared (SEF) and an impaired (IEF) executive functioning group according to their performance scores on neuropsychological tests. Their closest relatives or caregivers completed the Cambridge behavioral inventory (CBI), which assesses behavioral symptoms grouped into 13 categories. Results. A significant difference was exclusively found between SEF and IEF in terms of the frequency of stereotypies and repetitive motor behavior (U = 60.5, P = .024). Conclusions. The presence of stereotypies could be associated with a dysexecutive profile in AD patients. These results shed light on the role of frontal circuitry in the expression of motor symptoms in AD and prompt for further research that will contribute to the differential diagnosis both of different subtypes of AD and other types of dementia.