TITLE

Cognitive Function in Wandering and Nonwandering Alzheimer's Patients

AUTHOR(S)
Goy, E. R.; Fisher, J. E.
PUB. DATE
October 1996
SOURCE
Gerontologist;Oct1996 Supplement, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p280
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Abstract
ABSTRACT
Wandering is often observed in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies of wandering in general nursing home populations have reported greater impairment of higher cognitive function in wanderers than in nonwanderers. The generalizability of these findings to AD patients is unclear given that the studies have not specified subject characteristics such as dementia status. In order to examine the relationship between wandering and cogmtive status in AD, the current study included only subjects who met NINCDS criteria for probable or possible AD. It was predicted that cognitive test scores for the wandering group would evidence significantly more impairment than scores of nonwandering subjects. Thirty-nine AD patients were recruited from nursing home and day care centers. Wandering (n = 11 ) and nonwandering (n = 28) AD patients were identified through the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory. A battery of neuropsychological tests, sensitive to differences among the severely cognitively impaired was administered. Results indicated an interaction between wandering status and the use of neuroleptic medication; wanderers who were medicated evidenced significantly greater cognitive impairment than the remaining subjects. The variance contributed by medication was partitioned out of fi.trther tests of group differences. After partitioning out of the contribution of medication, there were no significant differences between groups on global cognitive tests. The implications of these findings for the design of studies of brain-behavior relationships in AD are discussed.
ACCESSION #
80256049

 

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