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Anosognosia and Anosodiaphoria in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease

02 Dec 2014

Aims: To evaluate the occurrence of anosognosia (lack of awareness) and anosodiaphoria (insouciance) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to evaluate the influence of a worsening of dementia on these phenomena. Methods: A self-evaluation scale was used assessing degrees of anosognosia and anosodiaphoria; furthermore, a neuropsychological assessment and statistical analyses with nonparametric tests which could cope with data on an ordinal scale level and small samples were employed. Results: Cognitive ability was lower in AD (n = 9) than in MCI patients (n = 12), but AD patients self-rated lower cognitive disabilities, which is interpreted as one relative sign of anosognosia in AD. Awareness of the reasons for cognitive problems was also lower in AD, which is considered as another sign of anosognosia. The main pattern in MCI found that the higher the awareness, the lower the cognitive ability. In AD low awareness paralleled low cognitive functioning. Anosodiaphoria was present in AD but not in MCI. Conclusion: According to the literature anosognosia and anosodiaphoria seem to increase with progression of dementia from MCI as a result of right hemispheric alterations.
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord Extra 2014;4:465-480

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra