John Libbey Eurotext

Revue de neuropsychologie

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Behavioral and psychological symptoms in the early stages of dementia Volume 15, issue 1, Janvier-Février-Mars 2023

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Author
Service universitaire de psychiatrie de l’âge avancé, département de psychiatrie, centre hospitalier universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Suisse <armin.von-gunten@chuv.ch>
* Correspondance : A. von Gunten
* Ce manuscrit représente la mise en article d’une conférence présentée à l’occasion de la réunion annuelle de la Société francophone de neuropsychologie à Évian en France en date du 23-5-2022, conférence portant le titre « Symptômes comportementaux et psychologiques associés aux stades débutants des démences ». Cette présentation se veut être une réflexion clinique critique faisant le plaidoyer de l’importance de la psychopathologie en démentologie plus que le reflet d’une analyse scientifique exhaustive.

Behavioral and psychological symptoms and signs (associated with dementia), abbreviated as BPS(D), are polymorphous and frequent. They constitute a major difficulty for the patient, their relatives, and formal caregivers. They often respond favorably to therapeutic interventions. In spite of these observations, their clinical interest in early dementia is generally marginalized. However, they are frequent and sometimes prodromal or early, as evidenced by the concept of “mild behavioral impairment” (MBI). However, the nosological status of MBI is not definitively established. The delineation with early BPS or psychopathological comorbidities remains open. The etiopathogenesis of these disorders is likely to be complex and linked to both patient and environmental factors. Ontogenetic or developmental risk factors such as personality traits or attachment styles could also play a pathoplastic or vulnerability role for BPS or even dementia pathologies themselves.