Behavioral symptoms in community-dwelling elderly Nigerians with dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and normal cognition

Olusegun Baiyewu, Fred W. Unverzagt, Adesola Ogunniyi, Valerie Smith-Gamble, Oye Gureje, Kathleen A. Lane, Sujuan Gao, Kathleen S. Hall, Hugh C. Hendrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Background Few studies have examined the neuropsychiatric status of patients with dementia and cognitive impairment in the developing world despite the fact that current demographic trends suggest an urgent need for such studies. Objective To assess the level of neuropsychiatric symptoms in community-dwelling individuals with dementia, cognitive impairment no dementia and normal cognition. Methods Subjects were from the Ibadan site of Indianapolis-Ibadan Dementia Project with stable diagnoses of normal cognition, cognitive impairment, no dementia/mild cognitive impairment (CIND/MCI), and dementia. Informants of subjects made ratings on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory and Blessed Dementia Scale; subjects were tested with the Mini mental state examination. Results One hundred and eight subjects were included in the analytic sample, 21 were cognitively normal, 34 were demented, and 53 were CIND/MCI. The diagnostic groups did not differ in age, per cent female, or per cent with any formal education. The most frequent symptoms among subjects with CIND/MCI were depression (45.3%), apathy (37.7%), night time behavior (28.3%), appetite change (24.5%), irritability (22.6%), delusions (22.6%), anxiety (18.9%), and agitation (17.0%). Depression was significantly more frequent among the CIND/MCI and dementia (44.1%) groups compared with the normal cognition group (9.5%). Distress scores were highest for the dementia group, lowest for the normal cognition group, and intermediate for the CIND/MCI group. Conclusion Significant neuropsychiatric symptomatology and distress are present among cognitively impaired persons in this community-based study of older adults in this sub-Saharan African country. Programs to assist family members of cognitively impaired and demented persons should be created or adapted for use in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-939
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • behavioral symptoms
  • dementia
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • Nigerians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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