SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia;
  • white matter hyperintensities;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • Neuropsychiatric Inventory

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the association of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain atrophy and white matter hyperintensities (WMH).

Methods

Thirty-seven patients with probable AD received the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE), and an MRI scan as part of their initial evaluation at the Outpatient Memory Diagnostic Clinic at McLean Hospital. MRI-based volumetric measurements of whole brain atrophy, hippocampal volumes, and WMH were obtained. Analysis of covariance models, using age as a covariate and the presence of specific BPSD as independent variables, were used to test for differences in whole brain volumes, hippocampal volumes and WMH volumes.

Results

Increased WMH were associated with symptoms of anxiety, aberrant motor behavior, and night time disturbance, while symptoms of disinhibition were linked to lower WMH volume. No associations were found for whole brain or hippocampal volumes and BPSD.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that white matter changes are associated with the presence of BPSD in AD. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.