Extrapyramidal signs (EPSs) are commonly accepted as a feature of Alzheimer disease (AD) and may influence both the profile of impairment and prognosis.
To examine rates of occurrence and risk factors for all types of EPSs and to describe the impact of EPSs over time on the clinical course of AD.
The Washington Heights Hamilton Heights Inwood Columbia Aging Project.
A total of 388 patients with incident AD (mean age, 79 years; 71.4% female).
Main Outcome Measures
Extrapyramidal signs rated by means of a standardized portion of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale; prevalence and incidence rates and cumulative risk for non–drug-induced EPSs; and rates of change in EPSs over time, taking into account potential covariates.
Extrapyramidal signs were detected in 12.3% of patients at first evaluation and 22.6% at last evaluation. In a multivariate-adjusted generalized estimating equation model of change, total EPS score increased at an annual rate of 1.3%. Women (relative risk [RR], 1.57; P = .03), older patients (RR, 1.03; P = .02), and those with EPSs at baseline (RR, 2.07; P = .001) had greater rates of cognitive decline.
Extrapyramidal signs occur frequently and progress significantly in AD. Patients with incident AD and concomitant EPSs have a greater rate of cognitive decline than do patients with incident AD but without EPSs.