Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Complicating the Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease: A Case Report

J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;66(4):1363-1369. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180700.


Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are increasingly recognized as a core element of Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, clinicians still consider AD primarily as a cognitive disorder. We describe a case in which the underrecognition of NPS as part of AD resulted in substantial delay of an AD diagnosis, a wrong psychiatric diagnosis, and the organization of inappropriate care. The aim of this paper is to acknowledge NPS as an (early) manifestation of AD and to suggest features that may point toward underlying AD in older adults with late-life behavioral changes.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; behavior; dementia; diagnosis; neuropsychiatry.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Panic Disorder / etiology*