Original ArticlesProfiles of Decline in Activities of Daily Living in Non-Alzheimer DementiaWicklund, Alissa H. PhD*; Johnson, Nancy PhD*; Rademaker, Alfred PhD* †; Weitner, Bing Bing MS* †; Weintraub, Sandra PhD*Author Information *Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neurology, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center †Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL Supported in part by an Alzheimer's Disease Core Center grant (AG13854) from the National Institute on Aging to Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, and a grant from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (S. Weintraub, PI). Reprints: Alissa Wicklund, PhD, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, 320 E. Superior, Searle 11-465, Chicago, IL 60611 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Received for publication September 12, 2006; accepted December 13, 2006 Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: January-March 2007 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - p 8-13 doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3180324549 Buy Metrics Abstract Assessment of functional ability is an essential component in the clinical diagnosis of dementia. Most studies have primarily focused on disability due to Alzheimer disease (AD), and less is known about profiles of functional impairment in other dementia syndromes. Functional ability was assessed in individuals in the early stages of AD (N=100), the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (N=57), and primary progressive aphasia (PPA) (N=61), using the activities of daily living questionnaire (Johnson et al, 2004). The average duration of illness for the 3 groups ranged from 3.4 to 3.9 years. Overall level of functional impairment and the profile of abilities across subscales of Self-Care, Household Care, Employment and Recreation, Shopping and Money, Travel, and Communication were examined. Results showed that overall functional ability was moderately impaired in AD and FTD, and mildly impaired in PPA. For all groups, more complex ADLs were impaired early on, with relative preservation of self-care activities. The Communication score was the least impaired next to Self-Care for FTD and AD, and the most impaired for PPA patients. The activities of daily living questionnaire may capture aspects of preserved functioning that are not apparent from patients' scores on cognitive tests, especially for those with aphasia. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.