Pharmacological treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia: a review of the evidence.
ABSTRACT Neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia are common and associated with poor outcomes for patients and caregivers. Although nonpharmacological interventions should be the first line of treatment, a wide variety of pharmacological agents are used in the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms; therefore, concise, current, evidence-based recommendations are needed.
To evaluate the efficacy of pharmacological agents used in the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia.
A systematic review of English-language articles published from 1966 to July 2004 using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and a manual search of bibliographies was conducted. Inclusion criteria were double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or meta-analyses of any drug therapy for patients with dementia that included neuropsychiatric outcomes. Trials reporting only depression outcomes were excluded. Data on the inclusion criteria, patients, methods, results, and quality of each study were independently abstracted. Twenty-nine articles met inclusion criteria.
For typical antipsychotics, 2 meta-analyses and 2 RCTs were included. Generally, no difference among specific agents was found, efficacy was small at best, and adverse effects were common. Six RCTs with atypical antipsychotics were included; results showed modest, statistically significant efficacy of olanzapine and risperidone, with minimal adverse effects at lower doses. Atypical antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of stroke. There have been no RCTs designed to directly compare the efficacy of typical and atypical antipsychotics. Five trials of antidepressants were included; results showed no efficacy for treating neuropsychiatric symptoms other than depression, with the exception of 1 study of citalopram. For mood stabilizers, 3 RCTs investigating valproate showed no efficacy. Two small RCTs of carbamazepine had conflicting results. Two meta-analyses and 6 RCTs of cholinesterase inhibitors generally showed small, although statistically significant, efficacy. Two RCTs of memantine also had conflicting results for treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Pharmacological therapies are not particularly effective for management of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia. Of the agents reviewed, the atypical antipsychotics risperidone and olanzapine currently have the best evidence for efficacy. However, the effects are modest and further complicated by an increased risk of stroke. Additional trials of cholinesterase inhibitors enrolling patients with high levels of neuropsychiatric symptoms may be warranted.
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ABSTRACT: Background Alzheimer¿s disease and related disorders are characterized by cognitive impairment associated with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. These symptoms have significant consequences for both the patient and his family environment. While risk factors for behavioral disorders have been identified in several studies, few studies have focused on the evolution of these disorders. Moreover, it is important to identify factors linked to the long-term evolution of behavioral disorders, as well as patients¿ and caregivers¿ quality of life. Our purpose is to present the methodology of the EVITAL study, which primary objective is to determine the factors associated with the evolution of behavioral disorders among patients with Alzheimer¿s disease and related disorders during the year following their hospitalization in cognitive and behavioral units. Secondary objectives were 1) to assess the factors related to the evolution of behavioral disorders during hospitalization in cognitive and behavioral units; 2) to identify the factors linked to patients¿ and caregivers¿ quality of life, as well as caregivers¿ burden; 3) to assess the factors associated with rehospitalization of the patients for behavioral disorders in the year following their hospitalization in cognitive and behavioral units.Method/designA multicenter, prospective cohort of patients with Alzheimer¿s disease and related disorders as well as behavioral disorders who are hospitalized in cognitive and behavioral units.The patients will be included in the study for a period of 24 months and followed-up for 12 months. Socio-demographic and environmental data, behavioral disorders, medications, patients¿ and caregivers¿ quality of life as well as caregivers¿ burden will be assessed throughout hospitalization in cognitive and behavioral units. Follow-up will be performed at months 3, 6 and 12 after hospitalization. Socio-demographic and environmental data, behavioral disorders, medications, patients¿ and caregivers¿ quality of life, unplanned rehospitalization as well as caregivers¿ burden will also be assessed at each follow-up interview.DiscussionThe present study should help better identify the factors associated with reduction or stabilization of the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in patients with Alzheimer¿s disease. It could therefore help clinicians to better manage these symptoms.Trial registrationClinical Trials NCT01901263. Registered July 9, 2013.BMC Psychiatry 11/2014; 14(1):308. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Use of assistive devices in caring for individuals with dementia has not been systematically examined, particularly as it concerns managing behavioral symptoms. We tested a nonpharmacologic intervention to manage behaviors that involved instructing families in effective communication techniques, simplifying tasks and the home environment and using assistive devices. This paper describes the assistive devices provided to families assigned to intervention, extent of use of issued devices, their perceived helpfulness, and cost. Following each treatment session, occupational therapists (OT) documented time spent training in the use of strategies to manage problem behaviors. For families receiving assistive devices, OTs asked caregivers after 4 months whether they continued to use the device (yes/no), and extent to which it helped manage the targeted problems (not at all, somewhat, very helpful). We also tracked the costs associated with ordering, delivering and installing devices. Of 272 caregiver-patient dyads enrolled in the original trial, 136 were randomized to the intervention group, of whom 63 received one or more assistive devices. Of 13 intervention sessions, an average of 4 (31%) involved discussing or training caregivers in using assistive devices. A total of 197 devices (3 per dyad) were issued of which 87.6% were reported in use at 4 months. Caregivers reported that overall, devices were somewhat to very helpful. Devices ranged in cost from US$4.80 to US$282.93 with an average cost per dyad of US$152.52(SD=US$102.70) which included the device, its ordering, delivery and installation.Gerontechnology : international journal on the fundamental aspects of technology to serve the ageing society. 01/2010; 9(3):408-414.