Prevalence and Correlates of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Nursing Home Patients With Young-Onset Dementia: The BEYOnD Study

Ans J. M. J. Mulders*, Ilma W. F. Fick, Hans Bor, Frans R. J. Verhey, Sytse U. Zuidema, Raymond T. C. M. Koopmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Young-onset dementia (YOD) is defined as dementia that develops before the age of 65. Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) have important clinical consequences for patients and their family members. To date, knowledge about the prevalence and correlates of NPS in YOD is limited, but essential to establish specific tailored care for patients with YOD. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence and correlates of NPS in nursing home residents with YOD. Design/Setting: Cross-sectional cohort study in Dutch long-term care facilities providing specialized care for YOD. Participants: Participants included 230 institutionalized patients with YOD. Measurements: NPS were assessed using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home version (NPI-NH). The influence of gender, dementia severity, type of dementia, and disease awareness on clusters of relevant NPS was investigated using multivariate logistic regression analysis and subsequently corrected for the possible confounders of age, duration of institutionalization, and psychoactive medication use. Results: Ninety percent of the nursing home residents with YOD showed 1 or more neuropsychiatric symptoms, 88% showed significant agitation, and 56% showed relevant apathy. No gender differences were found. Although physically aggressive behavior, non-physically aggressive behavior, and apathy were more common in patients with (very) severe cognitive decline (Global Deterioration Scale [GDS] stage 6-7), verbally agitated behavior was common in patients in all except the most severe stages of dementia (GDS 2-6). Apathy was more prevalent in alcohol-related dementia. Low levels of awareness were associated with more physically aggressive behavior and aberrant motor behavior. Conclusion: The prevalence of NPS was high and was associated with the severity and type of dementia and disease awareness. Agitation and apathy are the most important symptoms to focus on in YOD. The high prevalence of NPS supports the idea of care delivery in special care units. Further research is needed on potentially influencing environmental correlates of NPS in YOD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-500
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Young-onset dementia
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • nursing home

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