OBJECTIVE: To present socio-demographic characteristics, mean scores of tests and scales applied to patients with dementia and discuss the relationship between test scores, clinical diagnoses and the severity of dementia. METHOD: Patients (n=113) were diagnosed according to the DSM-IV criteria, and the diagnostic work-up included physical and neurological examination, auxiliary exams, cognitive and functional tests, and the evaluation of neuropsychiatric symptoms. RESULTS: Mean age was 74.0 years. Alzheimer's disease (AD) was diagnosed in 62.8% of the patients, AD and vascular dementia in 8.8%, other dementias in 14.2%, and mild cognitive impairment in 2.7%. At least one neuropsychiatric symptom was diagnosed in 96.9% of the sample. There were significant differences on cognitive and functional performance between the groups classified according to dementia severity. CONCLUSION: Neuropsychiatric symptoms were quite common in patients with dementia, being more frequent as severity increased, and those symptoms were associated with functional impairment in the patients.
dementia; Alzheimer's disease; vascular dementia; neuropsychiatric symptoms; activities of daily living