Personality traits, behavioral and psychological symptoms and cognitive decline in patients at an early stage of Alzheimer's disease


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Personality traits, behavioral and psychological symptoms and cognitive decline in patients at an early stage of Alzheimer's disease
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques
Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques (SSP) Université de Lausanne UNIL - Dorigny Anthropole - bureau 2125 CH-1015 Lausanne SUISSE
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Thèse sur articles (4 articles); une note en bas de page du chapitre correspondant à chaque article envoie aux publications dont ces articles sont déjà publiés.
The aim of this doctoral thesis was to study personality characteristics of patients at an early stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and more specifically to describe personality and its changes over time, and to explore its possible links with psychological and symptoms (BPS) and cognitive level. The results were compared to those of a group of participants without cognitive disorder through three empirical studies.
In the first study, the findings showed significant personality changes that follow a specific trend in the clinical group. The profil of personality changes showed an increase in Neuroticism and a decrease in Extraversion, Openess to experiences, and Conscientiousness over time. The second study highlighted that personality and BPS occur early in the cours of AD. Recognizing them as possible precoce signs of neurodegeneration may prove to be a key factor for early detection and intervention. In the third study, a significant association between personality changes and cognitive status was observed in the patients with incipient AD. Thus, changes in Neuroticism and Conscientiousness were linked with cognitive deterioration, whereas decreased Openness to experiences and Conscientiousness over time predicted loss of independence in daily functioning. Other well-known factors such as age, education level or civil status were taken into account to predict cognitive decline.
The three studies suggested five important implications: (1) cost-effective screening should take into account premorbid and specific personality changes; (2) psycho-educative interventions should provide information on the possible personality changes and BPS that may occur at the beginning of the disease; (3) using personality traits alongside other variables in the future studies on prevention might help to better understand AD's etiology; (4) individual treatment plans (psychotherapeutic, social, and pharmacological) might be adapted to the specific changes in personality profiles; (5) more researches are needed to study the impact of social-cultural and lifestyle variables on the development of AD.
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15/10/2013 13:23
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20/08/2019 16:25
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