Knowledge of personal information and caregiver awareness in Alzheimer's disease
AbstractWe assessed the ability of 73 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) to recall important personal information like their names, their caregivers' names, their addresses, and their telephone numbers. We also assessed their caregivers' awareness of their abilities. There was an association between the abilities of the patients and their Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) scores, with the patients with the lowest MMSE scores making the most errors. Five to 10 percent of the mildest patients were unable to state their addresses and telephone numbers correctly. The caregivers of the patients with intermediate MMSE scores made the most errors in their predictions, with up to 50 percent being incorrect and up to 37 percent overestimating their patients' abilities. We concluded that AD patients lose their ability to provide personal information as their illness progresses. Caregivers of patients with MMSE ranging from 10 to 25 are the most likely to be unaware of their patients' impairment. These findings highlight safety concerns in AD.