Deterioration of Functional Capacities in Alzheimer's Disease After a 1-Year Period

David A. Loewenstein, Ranjan Duara, Rubert Mark, Trinidad Argüelles, Kevin J. Lapinski, Carl Eisdorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


There is a paucity of data regarding Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients' longitudinal deterioration in the ability to conduct numerous activities required for daily living. In this study, 52 patients with AD were assessed at baseline and at a 1-year follow-up using the Direct Assessment of Functional Status (DAFS) scale, an objective, well-validated measure of a broad spectrum of functional capacities that is administered within the clinical setting. An important finding was that the level of initial performance on each of the 11 functional tasks measured did not relate to the degree of functional decline in that particular area. Communication skills, such as using the telephone (deterioration among 35.4% of the patients) and preparing a letter for mailing (deterioration among 32.7%), showed the most frequent deterioration among patients upon follow-up. More than half of the AD patients studied demonstrated impairment on one or both of these measures. The pattern of findings indicates that many subtests of the DAFS were sensitive to functional decline after a 1-year period and that the scale has utility in objectively establishing longitudinal patterns of deterioration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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