J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2017 Apr;21(1):29-34. 10.0000/jkgp.2017.21.1.29.

Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Increased Risks of Progression from Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer's Dementia

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. shryu@kuh.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.


Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common in dementia and in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). They might be a predictor of progression to dementia. This study aimed to investigate the effects of NPS on the natural course in MCI.
306 community-dwelling Korean elderly with MCI from local dementia center were assessed for NPS using Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Subjects were assessed again after more than a year from baseline. 52 subjects (17.0%) were progressed to dementia. We compared baseline NPI scores between stable and deteriorated groups.
Subjects progressing to dementia had a significantly higher prevalence of NPS (45.3% vs. 65.4%) than subjects who remained stable. Delusion (2.8% vs. 9.6%), agitation/aggression (14.6% vs. 26.9%), depression (21.7% vs. 40.4%) and disinhibition (4.3% vs. 19.2%) were more common in deteriorated group. After adjustment for other variables, on logistic regression analysis, only disinhibition at baseline was shown to be a risk factor for progression to dementia (OR=4.88, 95% CI=1.37-17.36, p=0.01, R²=302).
These findings suggest that NPS in MCI may be a predictor of progression to dementia. NPS may be a useful item including delusion, agitation/aggression, depression, and disinhibition. To study course and nature of NPS may lead to better understanding of Alzheimer's disease.


Neuropsychiatric symptoms; Mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer's disease; Disinhibition
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