[Atrophy of the amygdala complex and neuropsychiatric expression of Alzheimer s disease].Rev Neurol 2001 Sep 1-15; 33(5):477-82RN
In Alzheimer s disease, together with cognitive changes (loss of memory, lack of orientation in time and space, difficulty in carrying things out, etc.) non cognitive disorders also occur, seriously disturbing the patient s behavioral and emotional balance. Depression, delirious ideas, hallucinations and behavior changes (habits regarding sex, feeding and movement) are amongst the commonest features of this disease from its earliest stages. Several studies have described how initially the histopathological changes selectively involve different structures of the medial temporal lobe (entorinal cortex, hippocampal formation, amygdala) and gradually includes neocortical association areas. Thus, the amygdala complex, a structure related to processes of memory and emotional control, is severely affected in this disease from the initial stages.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Therefore, to find any possible relationship between involvement of the amygdala and the psychiatric expression of Alzheimer s type dementia, we did a radiological study, using magnetic resonance, together with a neuropsychological study of a group of 24 persons with Alzheimer s disease who had mild moderate deterioration. Analysis of the amygdala area and the scores on the subtest Alzheimer s Disease Assessment Scale Non cognitive (ADAS NC) were the variables chosen for measurement of the anatomical and psychiatric aspects of the subjects under investigation.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
The results of our study show a close relation between involvement of the amygdala (atrophy) and the presence of neuropsychiatric changes in persons with Alzheimer s disease.