Assessment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia: Toward improving accuracy

Avaliação de sintomas neuropsiquiátricos na demência: para melhorar a precisão

Florindo Stella About the author

ABSTRACT

The issue of this article concerned the discussion about tools frequently used tools for assessing neuropsychiatric symptoms of patients with dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease. The aims were to discuss the main tools for evaluating behavioral disturbances, and particularly the accuracy of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory - Clinician Rating Scale (NPI-C). The clinical approach to and diagnosis of neuropsychiatric syndromes in dementia require suitable accuracy. Advances in the recognition and early accurate diagnosis of psychopathological symptoms help guide appropriate pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. In addition, recommended standardized and validated measurements contribute to both scientific research and clinical practice. Emotional distress, caregiver burden, and cognitive impairment often experienced by elderly caregivers, may affect the quality of caregiver reports. The clinician rating approach helps attenuate these misinterpretations. In this scenario, the NPI-C is a promising and versatile tool for assessing neuropsychiatric syndromes in dementia, offering good accuracy and high reliability, mainly based on the diagnostic impression of the clinician. This tool can provide both strategies: a comprehensive assessment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia or the investigation of specific psychopathological syndromes such as agitation, depression, anxiety, apathy, sleep disorders, and aberrant motor disorders, among others.

Key words:
neuropsychiatric symptoms; assessment; scales; Alzheimer's disease; dementia

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E-mail: revistadementia@abneuro.org.br | demneuropsy@uol.com.br
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