Personality Characteristics of Patients with Alzheimer's
Before and After the Appearance of the Disease
A. DIAMANTIDOU, T. PANTAZI, M. TSOLAKI, A. KAZIS
This study was done to find out if there is a change in patient's personality
characteristics after the appearance of the Alzheimer's disease, Forty subjects
participated in this study, men and women, over 65. The study was done at
the General Hospital "G. Papanikolaou", in the Memory and Dementia
Outpatient Clinic. The test which was given to the relatives of the patients
was the "Standardized Assessment of Personality". Each relative
was given two tests to describe the patient's personality, how it was before
and after the appearance of the disease. The above test includes 37 personality
characteristics: Shy, easily upset by others, avoids going out, anxious
about meeting people, eccentric, odd, ideas, aloof, suspicious, blames others,
defends others, moody, up and down, always gloomy. always optimistic, full
of energy, houseproud, extremely conscientious, high standards, stubborn,
perfectionist, a born worrier, worries easily, never relaxes, inadequate,
can not cope with life's normal demands, always ill, no energy irresponsible,
aggressive, cold and callous, always in trouble, impatient, dramatizes.
unreliable, graves attention, over-dependent, shallow.
The experimental design used was "within subjects", that means the same subjects were examined in two conditions, in that case before and after. The statistical analysis showed that from the 40 subjects, 37 had a change in that personality, while three (3) Subjects had no change Consequently there is a statistical significance between "before" and "after" (p=0,000) The characteristics were 7 devided in three categories".
I. those that the patients had before the appearance of the disease, while after they had not. II. those that the patients had not before the appearance of the disease, and appeared after. III. those that the patients had before and after the appearance of the disease.
We were interested in the second category, in those characteristics that appear after the appearance of the disease. In this category belong 18 from the 37 characteristics. For example, 16 of the 40 patients avoid going out after the appearance of the disease, 23 of 40 patients became irresponsible after the appearance of the disease.
The most important result from this study is that there is a change in the behavior of the patients with Alzheimer's disease in general. Because of the neuropathological lesions that happen, the disease affects in a significant way their personality.
In conclusion, the majority of the patients with Alzheimer's disease have a change in their personality after the appearance of the disease.
Key Words: Personality change, Dementia of the Alzheimer type.
3rd Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.