Antidepressants for depression in patients with dementia: a review of the literature.

The Consultant pharmacist: the journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists 04/2014; 29(4):254-63. DOI: 10.4140/TCP.n.2014.254
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate the literature investigating the efficacy and safety of antidepressants for treating depression in individuals with dementia.Data Sources: A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, PUBMED, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases from inception to May 2013 for studies in English that evaluated the treatment of depression in patients with dementia. All relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses were identified using the search terms "dementia" or "Alzheimer's disease," and "depression" or "major depressive disorder." Reference lists from retrieved articles and practice guidelines were also searched for relevant literature.Study selection and data extraction: Only randomized, placebo-controlled trials and meta-analyses that compared an antidepressant with placebo for the treatment of depression in patients with dementia were included.Data Synthesis: In this systematic review, 10 RCTs and 3 meta-analyses were identified that examined the efficacy and safety of antidepressants compared with placebo in treating depression in patients with dementia. The majority of the RCTs consisted of a small sample size, and the antidepressants studied were not routinely used in practice.Conclusions: The evidence for antidepressants in the treatment of depression in patients with dementia is inconclusive. The accumulation of evidence suggests nonpharmacologic approaches and watchful waiting be attempted for the first 8 to 12 weeks in a patient who presents with both mild-to-moderate depression and dementia. In cases of severe depression, or depression not managed through nonpharmacologic means, a trial of an antidepressant may be initiated. However, further well-designed trials are needed to support these recommendations.

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    ABSTRACT: Neuropsychiatric signs are critical in primary caregiving of Alzheimer patients and have not yet been fully inves tigated in murine models. 18-month-old 3×Tg-AD male mice and their wild-type male littermates (non-Tg) were used. The open field test and the elevated plus maze test were used to evaluate anxiety-like behaviors, whereas the Porsolt forced swim test, the tail suspension test, and the sucrose preference test for antidepressant/depression-coping behaviors. Neurochemical study was conducted by microdialysis in freely-moving mice, analyzing the basal and K(+)-stimulated monoamine output in the frontal cortex and ventral hippocampus. Moreover by immunohistochemistry, we analysed the expression of Tyrosin hydroxylase and Tryptophan hydroxylase, which play a key role in the synthesis of monoamines. Aged 3×Tg-AD mice exhibited a higher duration of immobility in the forced swim and tail suspension tests (predictors of depression-like behavior) which was not attenuated by a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, desipramine. In the sucrose preference test, 3×Tg-AD mice showed a significantly lower sucrose preference compared to the non-Tg group, without any difference in total fluid intake. In contrast, the motor functions and anxiety-related emotional responses of 3×Tg-AD mice were normal, as detected by the open-field and elevated plus-maze tests. To strengthen these results, we then evaluated the monoaminergic neurotransmissions by in vivo microdialysis and immunohistochemistry. In particular, with the exception of the basal hippocampal dopamine levels, 3×Tg-AD mice exhibited a lower basal extracellular output of amines in the frontal cortex and ventral hippocampus and also a decreased extracellular response to K(+) stimulation. Such alterations occur with obvious local amyloid-β and tau pathologies and without gross alterations in the expression of Tyrosin and Tryptophan hydroxylase. These results suggest that 3×Tg-AD mice exhibit changes in depression-related behavior involving aminergic neurotrasmitters and provide an animal model for investigating AD with depression. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.


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May 23, 2014