Behavioral differences between white matter lacunar dementia and Alzheimer's disease: A comparison on the neuropsychiatric inventory

Judith Aharon-Peretz, Dorita Kliot, Rachel Tomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Behavioral abnormalities account for much of the morbidity of vascular dementia (VaD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The goals of the study were to compare the behavioral changes in patients with VaD associated with ischemic white matter subcortical changes and lacunar infarctions (VaD-WSI) to those in patients with AD. Methods: Thirty outpatients with VaD and multiple lacunar infarctions in the periventricular white matter and 30 AD patients, matched for age and severity of dementia, were enrolled in this prospective study. The behavioral abnormalities of these patients were assessed by interviewing their caregivers with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Results: A similar spectrum of noncognitive behavioral changes was found in AD and WSI patients. In VaD-WSI, the severity of delusions, hallucinations, aggression, irritability, aberrant motor behavior, nighttime behavior and appetite changes was correlated with cognitive decline, whereas depression, apathy, anxiety and euphoria were unrelated to the severity of dementia. In AD, none of the behavioral changes correlated with the severity of dementia. Conclusion: Behavioral changes are frequent in VaD-WSI and are present regardless of the severity of the cognitive decline. It is therefore important to assess behavioral as well as cognitive changes at early stages of the illness, to ensure appropriate treatment. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-298
Number of pages5
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral changes
  • Dementia
  • Neuropsychiatric inventory
  • Vascular dementia
  • White matter lacunar dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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