Background. This study compared the occurrence of psychiatric symptoms in a large group of community-residing participants enrolled in an Alzheimer's disease patient registry who met clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease or multi-infarct dementia, as well as mixed Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia. Methods. Psychiatric morbidity observed from a psychiatric examination of 514 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 135 patients with multi-infarct dementia, and 86 cases with mixed dementia was analyzed using analysis of variance comparing symptoms across groups and chi- square test for differences in frequency of occurrence. Associations between pairs of symptoms were also reported. Results. The frequency of occurrence and patterns of psychiatric problems were similar in patients with Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia. Agitation was the most frequent symptom, followed by depression, apathy, and behavioral disorders. Patients with mixed dementia had significantly more psychopathology. Conclusion. This study demonstrated that significant psychopathology occurs in individuals with Alzheimer's disease or multi-infarct dementia. The high levels of symptoms in mixed dementia suggest that the two conditions have a synergistic effect on behavioral problems. The prevalence of multiple symptoms is higher than previously reported.
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