Determinants of disability in Alzheimer's disease

O. Zanetti, A. Bianchetti, G. B. Frisoni, R. Rozzini, M. Trabucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study is to evaluate risk factors of disability in a population of 64 patients affected by Alzheimer's disease. The subjects were consecutively recruited at the day hospital service of an Alzheimer's dementia care unit. The associations between activities of daily living and age, cognitive status, affective status, cognitive symptoms duration and number of diseases were evaluated within a multidimensional assessment programme. Cognitive performance, as detected by the Mini-Mental Status Examination, was the main independent predictor of disability; other independent predictors of disability were age and cognitive disease duration. Number of diseases - physical and mental - and self-rated depression scores were not independently associated with disability. It is concluded that, in a population of Alzheimer's patients, cognitive impairment has a high impact on the aetiology of disability, but other variables such as age and disease duration should be taken into account. It is also suggested that cognitive performance is the most important indicator of performance in activities of daily living.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Disability
  • MMSE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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