Rate of progression and prognostic factors in Alzheimer's disease: A prospective study

U. Lucca, M. Comelli, M. Tettamanti, P. Tiraboschi, A. Spagnoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To study rate of progression and correlates of cognitive and functional/behavioral deterioration in Alzheimer patients. Design: A 1-year multicenter prospective study. Setting: Outpatients and inpatients at geriatric institutions. Patients: Fifty-six patients with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease according to DSM-III criteria of Primary Degenerative Dementia. Main Outcome Measures: Blessed Dementia Scale (BDS) and Blessed Information-Memory-Concentration test (BIMC) measured at baseline, third, sixth, and twelfth month. Results: The mean annual (±SD) rate of progression of our sample was 3.5 (±3.7) points on the BDS and 2.6 (±4.9) on the BIMC, with a wide range of variability. The level of cognitive impairment (BIMC score) at baseline predicted functional and behavioral deterioration: the better the initial BIMC score, the less the rate of negative change of BDS (r = 0.37, P = 0.006). Furthermore, the younger the patients at the disease onset, the faster the progression of cognitive impairment (r = 0.48, P = 0.0003), with men having a slower rate of progression (P = 0.004) than women. Conclusions: The present study confirms previous findings showing a wide individual variability in rate of progression of cognitive and functional/behavioral impairment as assessed by BIMC and BDS. The cognitive profile may predict the clinical evolution better than the functional and behavioral status, with patients with an earlier onset and women having a faster deterioration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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