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By D.F. Swaab, E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran, W.A. Van Gool and F. Van Haaren (Eds.)

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Sample text

Death usually results from pneumonia, aspiration or urinary infection (see Strub and Black, 1981 for more detailed account). Stages in dementia: methodological issues Alzheimer’s disease can occur at any age, and the course of the illness is variable: some patients live only a few months after initial assessment, but 25-30% of the patients live over 10 years, and some live over 20 years (Corsellis, 1976). , 1952). It is important to determine whether the dementing process is similar in these individuals of different ages.

D. and Katzman, R. (1983)Senile dementia of the Alzheimer type. Ann. , 1 4 497-506. Tomlinson, B. , Blessed, G . and Roth, M. (1970) Observations on the brains of demented old people. J. Neurol. , 11: 205-242. , Deutsch, G. and Antin, S. (1982) Significance of cortical disinhibition signs. Neurology ( N Y ) , 32: 169-173. Weinstein, M. V. et al. (1980)Clinical Decision Analysis, Sanders, Philadelphia. Wells, C. E. , Davis, Philadelphia. Am. , 136:895-900. Wolfson, L. I. and Katzman, R. (1983) The neurologic consultation at age 80.

Differential diagnosis and stages in Alzheimer’s disease Diferential diagnosis Traditionally, (neuro)psychologists working in a psychiatric setting are frequently asked to assess whether a particular patient is dementing or not. It appears very difficult to differentiate early stages of senile dementia from depression. In the first place, early stages in dementia are very frequently accompanied by a depressed mood (Jolles and Hijman, 1983; Strub and Black, 1981). This depression is most probably a secondary consequence of the subjective feeling that there is cognitive deterioration (see for instance Strub and Black, 1981).

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