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Review article

Zrinka Rauch, Tihana Jendričko, Silvia Rusac
Pages: 23-48

Abstract

This paper aims to describe the mental health of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, considering the neuropsychiatric symptoms appearing over the course of the illness and a systematic review of research studies on the prevalence of the symptoms. The neuropsychiatric symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease involve altered personality traits, mood and motor disorders, and numerous other signs apparent not only to patients but also to other people (physicians, caregivers, etc.). Namely, besides the patients, the symptoms equally affect their environment (family, caregivers, system of care for people with the disease, and the entire society). This paper presents Alzheimer’s disease in general and its neuropsychiatric symptoms, through their definition, description, treatment interventions, measurement, and classification. The paper also discusses the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms, contrasting the findings from the systematic review with the results of previous research studies. Accordingly, the symptoms of apathy, depression, and irritability tend to prevail, while euphoria and hallucinations seem the least prevalent, which is consistent with the research findings from previous studies (with minor deviations, also presented in the paper). Given the projected increase of the elderly population and, accordingly, more people suffering from different types of dementia (most often Alzheimer’s disease), the interest in the disease and its symptoms is expected to further increase in the future.

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Volume 4, Issue 4 2023, Pages 289-462
UDK 615.89
ISSN 0303-7908
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