Understanding hallucinations in probable Alzheimer's disease: Very low prevalence rates in a tertiary memory clinic

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Abstract

Introduction: Averaging at 13.4%, current literature reports widely varying prevalence rates of hallucinations in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), and is still inconclusive on contributive factors to hallucinations in AD. Methods: This study assessed prevalence, associated factors and clinical characteristics of hallucinations in 1227 patients with probable AD, derived from a tertiary memory clinic specialized in early diagnosis of dementia. Hallucinations were assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Results: Hallucination prevalence was very low, with only 4.5% (n = 55/1227) affected patients. Hallucinations were mostly visual (n = 40/55) or auditory (n = 12/55). Comorbid delusions were present in over one-third of cases (n = 23/55). Hallucinations were associated with increased dementia severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and a lifetime history of hallucination-evoking disease (such as depression and sensory impairment), but not with age or gender. Discussion: In the largest sample thus far, we report a low prevalence of hallucinations in probable AD patients, comparable to rates in non-demented elderly. Our results suggest that hallucinations are uncommon in early stage AD. Clinicians that encounter hallucinations in patients with early AD should be sensitive to hallucination-evoking comorbidity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-362
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

@article{39aefaa053ce44e9847515fa7888af47,
title = "Understanding hallucinations in probable Alzheimer's disease: Very low prevalence rates in a tertiary memory clinic",
abstract = "Introduction: Averaging at 13.4{\%}, current literature reports widely varying prevalence rates of hallucinations in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), and is still inconclusive on contributive factors to hallucinations in AD. Methods: This study assessed prevalence, associated factors and clinical characteristics of hallucinations in 1227 patients with probable AD, derived from a tertiary memory clinic specialized in early diagnosis of dementia. Hallucinations were assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Results: Hallucination prevalence was very low, with only 4.5{\%} (n = 55/1227) affected patients. Hallucinations were mostly visual (n = 40/55) or auditory (n = 12/55). Comorbid delusions were present in over one-third of cases (n = 23/55). Hallucinations were associated with increased dementia severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and a lifetime history of hallucination-evoking disease (such as depression and sensory impairment), but not with age or gender. Discussion: In the largest sample thus far, we report a low prevalence of hallucinations in probable AD patients, comparable to rates in non-demented elderly. Our results suggest that hallucinations are uncommon in early stage AD. Clinicians that encounter hallucinations in patients with early AD should be sensitive to hallucination-evoking comorbidity.",
author = "Linszen, {Mascha M. J.} and Lemstra, {Afina W.} and Meenakshi Dauwan and Brouwer, {Rachel M.} and Philip Scheltens and Sommer, {Iris E. C.}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1016/j.dadm.2018.03.005",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "358--362",
journal = "Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring",
issn = "2352-8729",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Understanding hallucinations in probable Alzheimer's disease: Very low prevalence rates in a tertiary memory clinic

AU - Linszen, Mascha M. J.

AU - Lemstra, Afina W.

AU - Dauwan, Meenakshi

AU - Brouwer, Rachel M.

AU - Scheltens, Philip

AU - Sommer, Iris E. C.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Introduction: Averaging at 13.4%, current literature reports widely varying prevalence rates of hallucinations in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), and is still inconclusive on contributive factors to hallucinations in AD. Methods: This study assessed prevalence, associated factors and clinical characteristics of hallucinations in 1227 patients with probable AD, derived from a tertiary memory clinic specialized in early diagnosis of dementia. Hallucinations were assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Results: Hallucination prevalence was very low, with only 4.5% (n = 55/1227) affected patients. Hallucinations were mostly visual (n = 40/55) or auditory (n = 12/55). Comorbid delusions were present in over one-third of cases (n = 23/55). Hallucinations were associated with increased dementia severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and a lifetime history of hallucination-evoking disease (such as depression and sensory impairment), but not with age or gender. Discussion: In the largest sample thus far, we report a low prevalence of hallucinations in probable AD patients, comparable to rates in non-demented elderly. Our results suggest that hallucinations are uncommon in early stage AD. Clinicians that encounter hallucinations in patients with early AD should be sensitive to hallucination-evoking comorbidity.

AB - Introduction: Averaging at 13.4%, current literature reports widely varying prevalence rates of hallucinations in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), and is still inconclusive on contributive factors to hallucinations in AD. Methods: This study assessed prevalence, associated factors and clinical characteristics of hallucinations in 1227 patients with probable AD, derived from a tertiary memory clinic specialized in early diagnosis of dementia. Hallucinations were assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Results: Hallucination prevalence was very low, with only 4.5% (n = 55/1227) affected patients. Hallucinations were mostly visual (n = 40/55) or auditory (n = 12/55). Comorbid delusions were present in over one-third of cases (n = 23/55). Hallucinations were associated with increased dementia severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and a lifetime history of hallucination-evoking disease (such as depression and sensory impairment), but not with age or gender. Discussion: In the largest sample thus far, we report a low prevalence of hallucinations in probable AD patients, comparable to rates in non-demented elderly. Our results suggest that hallucinations are uncommon in early stage AD. Clinicians that encounter hallucinations in patients with early AD should be sensitive to hallucination-evoking comorbidity.

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UR - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30014034

U2 - 10.1016/j.dadm.2018.03.005

DO - 10.1016/j.dadm.2018.03.005

M3 - Article

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EP - 362

JO - Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring

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SN - 2352-8729

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