A Systematic Review of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Cecilia Camarda, Roberto Monastero, Sara Ercolani, Francesca Mangialasche

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    179 Citations (Scopus)


    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a clinical concept proposed as an intermediate state between normal aging and dementia. This condition has multiple heterogeneous sources, including clinical presentation, etiology, and prognosis. Recently, the prevalence and associated features of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in MCI have been described. We systematically searched the PubMed database (last accessed on August 31, 2008) for articles on NPS in MCI. Included articles used strict selection criteria, and outcome variables were extracted in duplicate; of the 27 articles included, 14 (52%) used prospective cohorts. The global prevalence of NPS in MCI ranged from 35% to 85%. The most common behavioral symptoms were depression, anxiety, and irritability. Hospital-based samples reported a higher global prevalence of NPS than population-based studies; this discrepancy probably reflected differences in demographics, study setting, MCI diagnostic criteria, and behavioral instruments used. Prospective studies showed that NPS, particularly depression, may represent risk factors for MCI or predictors for the conversion of MCI to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). NPS are very prevalent in subjects with MCI, displaying a similar pattern of symptoms compared to dementia and AD. Large cohort studies using standardized MCI criteria and behavioral instruments are required to evaluate the prognostic role of NPS in MCI.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-30
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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