The Relationship Between Social Cognition and Awareness in Alzheimer Disease

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Abstract

A large body of evidence highlights the social cognitive impairment in neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer disease (AD). This study investigated the relationship among social and emotional functioning (SEF), awareness of disease, and other clinical aspects in people with AD (PwAD). A consecutive series of 50 people with mild to moderate AD and their 50 family caregivers were assessed. There was a significant difference between self-rated SEF and informant-rated SEF. In 56% of PwAD, self-rated SEF is lower than informant-rated SEF. People with AD mostly presented with mildly impaired awareness of the disease (56%), 20% had moderately impaired awareness of the disease, and 6% were unaware of the disease. The multivariate linear regression showed that informant-rated SEF was related to the social functioning, and relationships, domains of awareness of disease, and the PwAD informant-rated quality of life. The relationship between SEF and awareness of social functioning and relationship domain shows that they are comprised of judgments related to perceptions about oneself, values, and beliefs qualitatively different from awareness of memory or functionality, which can be directly observed.

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