Background/Aims: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSDs) negatively impact the prognosis of dementia patients and increase caregiver distress. The aims of this study were to clarify the differences of trajectories of 12 kinds of BPSDs by disease severity in four major dementias and to develop charts showing the frequency, severity, and associated caregiver distress (ACD) of BPSDs using the data of a Japan multicenter study (J-BIRD). Methods: We gathered Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) data of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 1091), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB; n = 249), vascular dementia (VaD; n = 156), and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD; n = 102) collected during a 5-year period up to July 31, 2013 in seven centers for dementia in Japan. The NPI composite scores (frequency × severity) of 12 kinds of items were analyzed using a principal component analysis (PCA) in each dementia. The factor scores of the PCA were compared in each dementia by disease severity, which was determined with Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR). Results: Significant increases with higher CDR scores were observed in 1) two of the three factor scores which were loaded for all items except euphoria in AD, 2) two of the four factor scores for apathy, aberrant motor behavior (AMB), sleep disturbances, agitation, irritability, disinhibition, and euphoria in DLB, and 3) one of the four factor scores for apathy, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances in VaD. However, no increases were observed in any of the five factor scores in FTLD. Conclusions: As dementia progresses, several BPSDs become more severe, including 1) apathy and sleep disturbances in AD, DLB, and VaD, 2) all of the BPSDs except euphoria in AD, 3) AMB, agitation, irritability, disinhibition, and euphoria in DLB, and 4) depression and anxiety in VaD. Trajectories of BPSDs in FTLD were unclear.
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