Background: The relationship between early life experience and the occurrence of neuropsychiatry symptoms (NPSs) in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) is unclear. Methods: From 2012 to 2014, we prospectively recruited 250 patients with probable AD from the memory clinic of Taipei Veterans General Hospital. All patients underwent standard assessments, including brain magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography, neuropsychological tests, neuropsychiatry inventory (NPI-Q) and related blood tests. A linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between NPSs and age, gender, disease severity, depression, language background (with or without Japanese education). Results: Among the 250 participants, 113 (45.2%) were women. Their average age was 82.6 years. Of all the participants, 93 (37.2%) had received formal Japanese education, whereas 157 (62.8%) did not receive Japanese education. The participants with Japanese education were slightly younger (83.1 ± 3.6 vs. 81.4 ± 3.4, P = 0.006), with a higher proportion of them were women (30.5% vs. 69.8%, P < 0.001) and fewer years of total education (10.8 ± 4.5 vs. 7.7 ± 3.2, P < 0.001), compared to the participants without Japanese education. NPI-Q scores significantly differed between the two groups (15.8 vs. 24.1, P = 0.024). Both disease severity and language background predicted NPI-Q scores. Conclusions: Language background in early life may be related to NPSs in patients with AD, and this effect is more significant in patients with a lower education level than in those with a higher education level. More NPSs may be the result of negative effects on dominant language or early life experiences.
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