International Psychogeriatrics

Behavioral and Psychological Signs and Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) in antipsychotic-naïve Alzheimer's Disease patients

Guk-Hee Suh a1c1 and Seung Kyum Kim a1
a1 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University Medical Centre, Seoul, Korea

Article author query
suh gh   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kim sk   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Background/Objective: There were few studies identifying the natural unfolding of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in the course of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression in antipsychotic-naïve AD patients. This study aims to examine the specific nature of the association between BPSD in AD and the global severity of illness measured by Global Deterioration Scale(GDS) in antipsychotic-naïve AD patients in Korea.

Methods: A total of 562 antipsychotics-naïve AD patients were recruited from four different groups [a geriatric mental hospital (n=145), a semi-hospitalized dementia institution (n=120), a dementia clinic (n=114) and community-dwelling dementia patients (n=183)]. BPSD exhibited by AD patients were measured using the 25-item Korean version of the BEHAVE-AD.

Results: Ninety-two percent (n=517) of AD patients had at least one BPSD, while 56% (n=315) had 4 or more BPSD. Specific kinds of behavioral disturbance peak at the stages of moderate AD (GDS stage 5) or moderately severe AD (GDS stage 6). AD patients left at home without any treatment had higher frequency of BPSD than did other groups seeking treatment, although all of them were antipsychotic-naïve.

Conclusion: BPSD potentially remediable to treatment were highly frequent in Korean AD patients. Health policies to meet the unmet needs of elderly Koreans are urgently needed, especially for AD patients at home without treatment.

(Received June 25 2003)
(returned to authors for revision August 14 2003)
(revised version received September 16 2003)
(Accepted October 8 2003)

Key Words: Alzheimer's disease; dementia; old age; BEHAVE-AD; BPSD; antipsychot.

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Guk-Hee Suh. Hallym University Medical Centre, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, 94–200 Yungdungpo-Dong, Yungdungpo-Ku, 150–030 Seoul, Korea. Phone: +82-2-2639-5483. Fax: +82 -2-2677-9095. E-mail: