Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Caregiver Burden in Individuals With Alzheimer’s Disease: The TEAM-AD VA Cooperative Study

Peijun Chen, Peter D. Guarino, Maurice W. Dysken, Muralidhar Pallaki, Sanjay Asthana, Maria D. Llorente, Susan Love, Julia E. Vertrees, Gerard D. Schellenberg, Mary Sano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease (AD) and their association with caregiver burden. Methods: Secondary analyses of baseline data from the Trial of Vitamin E and Memantine in Alzheimer's Disease (TEAM-AD) (N=613). Neuropsychiatric Inventory were used to measure severity of NPS and caregiver activity survey to measure caregiver burden. Results: A total of 87% of patients displayed at least 1 NPS; 70% displayed clinically meaningful NPS. The most common symptoms were apathy (47%), irritability (44%), agitation (42%), and depression (40%). Those with moderate AD had more severe NPS than those with mild AD (P =.03). Neuropsychiatric symptoms were significantly associated with caregiver time after adjusting for age, education, cognitive function, and comorbidity (P-value <.0001) with every point increase in NPS associated with a 10-minute increase in caregiver time. Conclusion: Neuropsychiatric symptoms were prevalent in both mild and moderate AD, even in patients receiving treatment with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, and were more severe in moderate AD and associated with greater caregiver time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Alzheimer disease
  • acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
  • caregiver burden
  • mild and moderate severity
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms


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