Neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological correlates of delusions in Alzheimer's disease

Psychol Med. 1995 May;25(3):505-13. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700033420.


We examined the prevalence, phenomenology, and clinical correlates of delusions in a consecutive series of 103 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). Patients were examined with the Present State Exam and the Dementia-Psychosis Scale. Twenty-one patients (20%) met DSM-III-R criteria for a delusional disorder. The most frequent delusion type was paranoid (71%), followed by hypochondriacal (67%), the Capgras syndrome (29%), house misidentification (29%), and grandiose delusions (29%). Out of the 21 AD patients with delusions, 76% had three or more different types of delusions simultaneously. The frequency of delusions was not significantly associated with age, education, or age at dementia onset, and the type and severity of cognitive impairments was similar for AD patients with and without delusions. However, AD patients with delusions had significantly higher mania and anosognosia scores.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Agnosia / diagnosis
  • Agnosia / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / diagnosis
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / psychology
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Delusions / diagnosis*
  • Delusions / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Paranoid Disorders / diagnosis
  • Paranoid Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales