Neuropsychological functioning and delusions in dementia:A pilot study

C. Fischer, R. Ladowsky-Brooks, C. Millikin, M. Norris, K. Hansen, S. B. Rourke
2006 Aging & Mental Health  
The present pilot study investigated the pattern of neuropsychological functioning associated with the presence of delusions in mild-to-moderate dementia. Participants, all of whom met criteria for dementia, were divided into two groups, delusional (n ¼ 9) and non-delusional (n ¼ 9). Individuals with hallucinations were excluded. Participants completed a neuropsychological test battery. Global cognitive functioning (MMSE) and behavioral disturbance (BEHAVE-AD) were also assessed. Differences
more » ... sed. Differences between the delusional and non-delusional group were most marked for immediate recall of stories, which was higher in the non-delusional group. Scores on semantic fluency, attention (mental control), and overall cognitive functioning (MMSE) were also lower in the delusional group. Conversely, simple attention span (Digit Span) was within normal limits in both groups. Floor effects were noted on measures of delayed recall and alternating attention. This study supports previous findings of greater neuropsychological impairment in delusional as compared to non-delusional individuals with dementia. However, some areas of cognitive functioning may be relatively preserved. Future research should examine semantic processing in persons with dementia with and without delusions.
doi:10.1080/13607860500307860 pmid:16338811 fatcat:jqka75negvfubefahpfcvravce