Objective: To assess the prevalence of psychotic symptoms in a group of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia and examine the association of psychotic symptoms with neuropsychiatric problems, the level of distress reported by caregivers, and cognitive and functional impairment.
Design: The psychotic and nonpsychotic patients with PD dementia were compared on a series of demographic, neuropsychiatric, behavioral, caregiver complaint, and cognitive measures.
Setting: The database from nine university-based State of California Alzheimer's Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (ADDTCs).
Participants: 101 patients diagnosed with PD.
Results: A total of 36 of the 101 patients (35.6%) had either hallucinations, delusions, or both. The psychotic patients had significantly more insomnia, confusion, agitation, personality changes, and self-care problems and were noted by their caregivers to be significantly more unmanageable at home than their nonpsychotic counterparts. On cognitive scales, psychotic patients were significantly more impaired.
Conclusion: Many patients with PD and dementia experience psychosis. Psychotic symptoms in PD dementia patients are associated with major behavioral, cognitive, and functional problems.