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Personality Changes May Help Distinguish Between Types of Dementia

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to patients that significant personality changes among older adults may be an early sign of dementia.

o Explain, too, that increased passivity may be a sign of dementia with Lewy bodies, not Alzheimer's dementia, which is more likely to be presaged by irritability.

ST. LOUIS, May 31 -- The appearance of passive personality traits in an older adult with signs of dementia may signal the presence of Lewy bodies rather than Alzheimer's disease, said investigators here.

Among 290 older adults in a longitudinal study, specific personality traits involving social withdrawal and purposeless hyperactivity helped distinguish between the two types of dementia, wrote James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine, and colleagues.

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