Background: Previous studies have reported several conflicting findings regarding neuropsychiatric symptoms when comparing patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and patients with vascular dementia (VaD). Objectives: The purpose was to: (1) compare the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms among patients with AD and VaD after controlling for demographic characteristics in difference setting and (2) rank and contrast the severity the common symptoms between the two groups in north of Taiwan. Methods: This study was a cross-sectional comparative design. Data were collected from clinical interviews using three instruments: the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR), and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Results: A total of 154 subjects participated in this study. The male subjects with VaD from the outpatient setting had lower NPI scores. In the OPD, the subjects with AD had more nighttime behavior than subjects with VAD. In the nursing home setting, the subjects with VaD had higher prevalence of depression, irritability, and appetite changes than subjects with AD. The subjects with AD had more euphoria and nighttime behavior than subjects with VaD. The average of total NPI scores for people with AD and VaD from the nursing home setting indicate higher scores. In the nursing home group, the VaD subjects evidenced significantly higher irritability scores than the AD subjects. Conclusions: This was first care unit based study in north Taiwan. Our results showed the significant differences between AD and VaD groups of NPI symptoms. Understanding those differences may aid differential diagnosis of dementia subtypes and help develop proper interventions.
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