Characteristics of patients with dementia attended in a tertiary outpatient clinic in Eastern region, Saudi Arabia

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Background: Increasing longevity and a growing older population is associated with a higher prevalence of dementia. However; research on dementia in the Gulf region is relatively scanty compared to the western world. Objects: This is a cross sectional study to evaluate the clinical and demographic profile among 53 patients with dementia seen at the outpatient clinics of a tertiary care hospital (King Fahd Hospital), in Saudi Arabia between June 2007 and May 2011. Method: Evaluation of patients consisted of medical history, cognitive testing, assessment of functional status (Activities of Daily Living Scale-ADL; Instrumental Activities Daily Living-IADL) and application of the Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI) for behavioral symptoms. Severity of dementia was evaluated based on the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR). Results: Of the whole sample, 73.6% were males. Age was 71 ± 5.8 years (mean ± SD). The types of dementia were: Alzheimer's disease (56.6%), vascular dementia (24.5%), mixed cases of Alzheimer and vascular dementia (18.9%). At least one neuropsychiatric symptom was diagnosed in 98.1% of the sample. There were significant differences on some NPI symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, apathy and aberrant motor activity. Conclusions: Dementia is expected to be a growing problem in Saudi Arabia and the overall prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms has been found to be high. These findings suggest that a screening program focused on identifying symptoms of early cognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric symptoms should be included amongst the tools employed by physicians for diagnosing dementia.




Amr, M., El-Gilany, A. H., Sallam, K., & Shams, T. (2014). Characteristics of patients with dementia attended in a tertiary outpatient clinic in Eastern region, Saudi Arabia. African Journal of Psychiatry (South Africa), 17(6).

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