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Deterioration of Functional Capacities in Alzheimer's Disease After a 1-Year Period

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2005

David A. Loewenstein
Affiliation:
Wien Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Center on Adult Development and Aging, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Ranjan Duara
Affiliation:
Wien Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A. Departments of Neurology and Radiology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Mark P. Rubert
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Center on Adult Development and Aging, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Trinidad Argüelles
Affiliation:
Wien Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Center on Adult Development and Aging, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A. Florida International University, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Kevin J. Lapinski
Affiliation:
Wien Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Center on Adult Development and Aging, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Carl Eisdorfer
Affiliation:
Wien Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Center on Adult Development and Aging, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

Abstract

There is a paucity of data regarding Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients' longitudinal deterioration in the ability to conduct numerous activities required for daily living. In this study, 52 patients with AD were assessed at baseline and at a 1-year follow-up using the Direct Assessment of Functional Status (DAFS) scale, an objective, well-validated measure of a broad spectrum of functional capacities that is administered within the clinical setting. An important finding was that the level of initial performance on each of the 11 functional tasks measured did not related to the degree of functional decline in that particular area. Communication skills, such as using the telephone (deterioration among 35.4% of the patients) and preparing a letter for mailing (deterioration among 32.7%), showed the most frequent deterioration among patients upon follow-up. More than half of the AD patients studied demonstrated impairment on one or both of these measures. The pattern of findings indicates that many subtests of the DAFS were sensitive to functional decline after a 1-year period and that the scale has utility in objectively establishing longitudinal patterns of deterioration.

Type
Research and Reviews
Copyright
© 1995 Springer Publishing Company

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