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Quality of life in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease from the patients´ perspective

Madrid, Spain – Stigma, depressive symptoms and feelings of hopelessness are common problems in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A recent study conducted at 21 memory clinics in Spain, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, has found that different psychological problems negatively impact patients' quality of life even in a population with a short disease duration and minimal cognitive impairment.

Alberto Villarejo-Galende, M.D., Ph.D. is a Consultant Neurologist at Doce de Octubre University Hospital in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Villarejo-Galende led the research with Elena García-Arcelay, R.Ph. who is a Medical Manager at Roche Farma Spain and Jorge Maurino, M.D. who is Neuroscience Medical Director at Roche Farma Spain.

Left to right: Alberto Villarejo-Galende, Elena García-Arcelay, Jorge Maurino

Left to right: Alberto Villarejo-Galende, Elena García-Arcelay, Jorge Maurino

Dr. Villarejo-Galende said, “Understanding patients' perceptions in early stages of the disease may facilitate adopting specific strategies to develop psychological resources to foster living well with AD.”

The study included 149 patients with early AD (mild cognitive impairment and mild AD). The mean disease duration was 1.4 years and mean Mini-mental State Examination score was 24.6. Eighty-three percent of patients had moderate-to-severe hopelessness, 22.1% had depressive symptoms, and 36.9% felt stigmatized. The quality of life showed significant negative correlations with depression, subjective emotional and practical consequences, stigma, and hopelessness.

García-Arcelay noted, “This work also highlights the usefulness of observational research including different assessment instruments focusing on patients' perspectives.” The researchers administered a battery of different patients' self-report instruments to gather information on quality of life, mood, stigma, life satisfaction, self-efficacy, and understanding of the illness and its consequences. Maurino said, “The ability to live well with AD should be the main goal of multidisciplinary teams managing this disease, especially in the early stages where patients retain their awareness of the disease and can still make key decisions for their future.”

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“Quality of Life and the Experience of Living with Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease”, by Alberto Villarejo-Galende, Elena García-Arcelay, Gerard Piñol-Ripoll, Antonio del Olmo-Rodríguez, Félix Viñuela, Mercè Boada, Emilio Franco-Macías, Almudena Ibañez de la Peña, Mario Riverol, Albert Puig-Pijoan, Pedro Abizanda-Soler, Rafael Arroyo, Miquel Baquero-Toledo, Inmaculada Feria-Vilar, Mircea Balasa, Ángel Berbel, Eloy Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Alba Vieira-Campos, Guillermo García-Ribas, Silvia Rodrigo-Herrero, Ángeles Terrancle, Daniel Prefasi, Alberto Lleó, Jorge Maurino; ( The article appears online in advance of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 90 Issue 2 (November 2022) published by IOS Press.

To request the full text of the article or further information please contact Diana Murray, IOS Press, +1 718-640-5678 or To reach the authors for comment please contact Clara Castano, at +34 913 24 81 00 or

Photo caption
Left to right: Alberto Villarejo-Galende, Elena García-Arcelay, Jorge Maurino.

About the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Now in its 25th year of publication, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD) is an international multidisciplinary journal to facilitate progress in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, genetics, behavior, treatment, and psychology of Alzheimer’s disease. The journal publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, book reviews, and letters-to-the-editor. Groundbreaking research that has appeared in the journal includes novel therapeutic targets, mechanisms of disease, and clinical trial outcomes. JAD has a Journal Impact Factor of 4.160 according to Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate, 2022). The journal is published by IOS Press.

About IOS Press
IOS Press is an independent international scientific, technical, medical (STM) publishing house established in 1987 in Amsterdam. We produce around 90 journals and 70 books annually in a broad range of subject categories, primarily specializing in health and life sciences (including neurosciences, medical informatics, cancer research, and rehabilitation) and computer sciences (including artificial intelligence, data science, and semantic web). In addition, we offer specialized services that support scientific advancement.