A prospective cross-sectional investigation examining the relationship
of neuropsychological and behavioral changes to the occurrence of delusions
in dementia syndromes was conducted. Nineteen patients had Alzheimer's
disease (AD), and 14 had multi-infarct dementia (MID). Patients with and
without delusions were compared with regard to demographic characteristics,
neuropsychological and neurological features, and a variety of behavioral
disturbances. Delusional patients were more aggressive and exhibited more
severe activity disturbances than nondelusional patients. Delusional
patients were more severely cognitively impaired, but the
neuropsychological differences between the two groups were not outstanding.
These observations suggest that specific neuropsychological deficits are
not compelling predictors of delusions and that delusional patients are
more behaviorally disturbed than those without delusions. It is
hypothesized that delusions are independent noncognitive manifestations of
the neurobiology of AD and MID.