Vol. 4 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2010
Original Article Páginas: 42 a 46

Clinical and demographic characteristics of elderly patients with dementia assisted at an outpatient clinic in Southern Brazil

Authors Cláudia Godinho1,2, Iulek Gorczevski3, Andréa Heisler3, Maria Otília Cerveira1,2, Márcia Lorena Chaves1,2,3

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keywords: tertiary outpatient clinic, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, Brazil.

ABSTRACT:
The aging of the population is a worldwide phenomenon, where 60% of elders live in developing areas of the world such as Brazil, regions in which few studies have been carried out. Objectives: The goal of this study was to evaluate the clinical and demographic profile of patients with dementing disorders seen at a specialized outpatient clinic in South Brazil. Methods: A sample of 105 demented patients seen at the Dementia Outpatient Clinic from Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre (HCPA), Brazil between June 2004 and June 2008. Evaluation of patients consisted of medical history, cognitive testing, assessment of functional status (Activities of Daily Living Scale - ADL; Instrumental Activities Daily Living - IADL) and application of the Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI) for behavioral symptoms. Severity of dementia was evaluated based on the CDR scale. All patients underwent laboratory screening tests and brain imaging exams to define etiology of dementia. Results: Of the whole sample, 71% were female. Age was 79±8 years (mean±SD). Educational level was 4±3 years (mean±SD). Sixty-four patients (60%) presented the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Of the whole sample, 26.7% were classified as CDR=1, 44% as CDR=2 and 29. 3% as CDR=3. A significant difference on the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and functional status scores was observed among the CDR categories (severity). No significant association was found between severity and impairment on memory tests and behavioral symptoms. Conclusions: Alzheimer's disease was the most common etiology, followed by vascular dementia. At diagnosis, most patients presented mild to moderate severity of dementia, independent of cause.

 

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