International Psychogeriatrics: page 1 of 27 C ?International Psychogeriatric Association 2010
Management of behavioral problems in Alzheimer’s disease
Serge Gauthier,1Jeffrey Cummings,2Clive Ballard,3Henry Brodaty,4
George Grossberg,5Philippe Robert6and Constantine Lyketsos7
1Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Unit at the McGill Center for Studies in Aging, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, Canada
2Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
3Age Related Diseases, King’s College London, London, U.K.
4Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
5Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, St Louis University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
6Centre M´ emoire de Ressources et de Recherche (Memory Centre for Care and Research), CHU de Nice, Hˆ opital Pasteur, Nice, France
7Department of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex progressive brain degenerative disorder that has effects on multiple
cerebral systems. In addition to cognitive and functional decline, diverse behavioral changes manifest with
increasing severity over time, presenting significant management challenges for caregivers and health care
professionals. Almost all patients with AD are affected by neuropsychiatric symptoms at some point during
their illness; in some cases, symptoms occur prior to diagnosis of the dementia syndrome. Further, behavioral
factors have been identified, which may have their origins in particular neurobiological processes, and
respond to particular management strategies. Improved clarification of causes, triggers, and presentation
of neuropsychiatric symptoms will guide both research and clinical decision-making. Measurement of
neuropsychiatric symptoms in AD is most commonly by means of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory; its
utility and future development are discussed, as are the limitations and difficulties encountered when
quantifying behavioral responses in clinical trials. Evidence from clinical trials of both non-pharmacological
and pharmacological treatments, and from neurobiological studies, provides a range of management options
that can be tailored to individual needs. We suggest that non-pharmacological interventions (including
psychosocial/psychological counseling, interpersonal management and environmental management) should
be attempted first, followed by the least harmful medication for the shortest time possible. Pharmacological
treatment options, such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, cholinesterase inhibitors and
memantine, need careful consideration of the benefits and limitations of each drug class.
behavior, Alzheimer’s, measurement, treatment, non-pharmacologic, pharmacologic
The following review is a result of discussions
that occurred during an “Expert Round Table
Meeting: Management of Behavioral Problems
in Alzheimer’s Disease” held in Hong Kong on
27 February, 2008. The meeting was convened
by Serge Gauthier and Jeffrey Cummings to
evaluate the current gaps in our knowledge
concerning the management of behavioral and
psychological symptoms associated with dementia.
Correspondence should be addressed to: Serge Gauthier, Director of the
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Unit at the McGill Center for
Studies in Aging, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montreal,
Canada. Phone: +1 514 766 2010; Fax: +1 514 888 4050. Email:
email@example.com. Received 10 Aug 2009; revision requested 5 Oct
2009; revised version received 2 Nov 2009; accepted 6 Nov 2009.
Henry Brodaty, George Grossberg, Constantine
Lyketsos, and Philippe Robert. The meeting
was sponsored by Forest Laboratories Inc, H.
Lundbeck A/S, and Merz Pharma, and immediately
preceded the Hong Kong/Springfield Symposium
on Advances in Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment.
Since these initial discussions, the literature has
been further studied and the first article by this
group has been published, on the specific topic
of the management of agitation and aggression in
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (Ballard et al., 2009a).
The current review reflects a group consensus on
neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), with emphasis
on a clinical approach to the individual behavioral
symptoms, using the best available information.
Issues surrounding the measurement of NPS are
identified and suggestions on how to resolve
them are proposed. The purpose of the review
S. Gauthier et al.
is to look at the “bigger picture” rather than
individual studies. Therefore, we have not cited
every study that has been conducted on NPS
but rather have aimed to maintain a balance
in the evaluation among the many approaches
currently available. Our discussions were aimed at
the sub-acute and long-term management of NPS;
management of acute psychiatric inpatient care was
not discussed. Although both the recommendations
and comments made and the literature cited in
the body of this review are aimed primarily at
AD, they may also be useful in the consideration
of non-AD dementias. In this review, the term
psychological symptoms of dementia” (BPSD),
and “psychotropic drugs” include antipsychotics,
cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine.
Behavior in the context of Alzheimer’s disease
AD is a complex progressive degenerative brain
disorder that has effects on multiple cerebral
systems, giving rise to diverse clinical phenomena.
As the disease progresses, more and more brain
regions are affected, and intellectual impairment
advances. Cognitive deterioration, as well as
progressive impairment in activities of daily living,
leads to an increase in patient dependency. NPS
associated with AD tend to follow a trajectory
of increasing severity over time – a feature they
have in common with cognitive and functional
decline. However, greater variability is observed
in the pattern of behavioral changes and in their
evolution than is characteristic of the decline
in cognition and function. Furthermore, there is
inconsistent correlation between NPS and cognitive
decline as measured using the Mini-mental State
Examination (MMSE) (Craig et al., 2005), or
the cognition portion of the Alzheimer’s Disease
Assessment Scale (ADAS-Cog) (Cummings et al.,
2004a). Some individual NPS are more closely
correlated with cognitive decline than others.
Onyike et al. (2007), when examining prevalence
and associations of apathy in older adults, found
that apathy was evident in 3.1% of those with mild
cognitive impairment and in 17.3% of those with
dementia (Onyike et al., 2007). This association
The authors concluded that both the frequency
and severity of apathy is positively correlated with
the severity of cognitive impairment (Onyike et al.,
2007). A direct correlation of apathy with severity
was also reported in nursing home residents (Wu
et al., 2009). Irritability was also found to correlate
with cognitive decline (Craig et al., 2005).
NPS are present in all stages of AD, such
that almost all patients with AD will manifest
such symptoms, including personality alterations,
psychoses, mood changes, agitation, apathy and
aberrant motor behavior, at some point during the
course of the disease (Gauthier et al., 2002a). NPS
are as clinically relevant as cognitive and functional
impairment; importantly, they contribute to patient
and caregiver distress (Banerjee et al., 2006), and
may precipitate institutionalization (Lesser and
Hughes, 2006). As many as 80–97% of patients
with AD are affected by at least one NPS at
some point in their illness (Jost and Grossberg,
1996; Lyketsos et al., 2002; Steinberg et al., 2008).
Some of these symptoms, depression in particular,
may be present even before the cognitive decline
becomes evident (Jost and Grossberg, 1996), and
in the dementia prodromes, such as mild cognitive
impairment (MCI) and cognitive impairment no
dementia (CIND) (Lyketsos et al., 2002). Indeed,
the association of apathy and depressive symptoms
with mild cognitive impairment has been shown to
increase the likelihood of progression to dementia
of the Alzheimer type (Teng et al., 2007; Robert
et al., 2008a).
Prevalence of NPS in AD
NPS comprise a variety of features that evolve
over time. Figure 1 shows the evolution of
behavioral changes, in terms of Neuropsychiatric
Inventory (NPI) symptoms, as found in the
Cache County Study (five-year period prevalence;
Steinberg et al., 2008). Latent class and factor
analytic studies suggest the existence of several
(Frisoni et al., 1999; Lyketsos et al., 2001;
Moran et al., 2004). Frisoni et al. (1999) grouped
these into three syndromes: “psychotic” (agitation,
(anxiety, depression), and “frontal” (disinhibition,
three groupings: “no neuropsychiatric symptoms”,
“affective” and “psychotic” symptoms.
The most frequently occurring of the NPS are
apathy, depression, and anxiety (Robert et al., 2005;
Steinberg et al., 2008; Table 1). Apathy can be
present in all stages of the disease, but increases
in prevalence with severity of disease (Figure 2).
Apathy appears to be an independent syndrome,
whereas agitation may occur in combination with
many different symptoms. Senanarong et al. (2004)
found significant correlations between agitation and
all other NPI subscale scores, with the strongest
correlations existing with irritability, disinhibition,
delusions, and aberrant motor activity (p<0.001
in all cases) (Senanarong et al., 2004). Aberrant
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
Figure 1. Five-year prevalence of NPI symptoms (NPI >0) in the Cache County Study (Steinberg et al., 2008).
Table 1. Frequency (percent) of NPS in community care samples evaluated with the NPI in three European
Hallucinations 13.1 7.8
Agitation 28.6 44.3
Aberrant motor behavior34.7 29.8
NPS = neuropsychiatric symptoms; NPI = Neuropsychiatric Inventory; MAASBED = Maastricht Study of Behavior in Dementia;
REAL = R´ eseaux Alzheimer Franc ¸ais; EADC = European Alzheimer Disease Consortium; MMSE = Mini-mental State Examination.
∗Overall mean taking into account the relative contribution of the size (n) of each study.
Source: Robert et al. (2005).
motor behavior (wandering, pacing, rummaging,
purposeless hyperactivity) is observable in more
than one-quarter of patients with dementia (Aalten
et al., 2007), and falls into the behavioral category
of “hyperactivity”, which also comprises agitation,
disinhibition and irritability (Aalten et al., 2007).
Agitation and aggression are among the most
troublesome of the NPS for caregivers and,
along with depression and psychosis, are leading
predictors of institutionalization (Yaffe et al., 2002;
Gauthier et al., 2008; Gaugler et al., 2009)
Within care facilities, 40–60% of AD patients have
aggression and agitation (Margallo-Lana et al.,
2001; Ballard and Howard, 2006).
Irritability is common and can be troublesome to
the caregiver; it occurs with a prevalence of ∼40%
of patients with mild and moderate AD, increasing
to ∼50% of patients in the more severe stages of the
disease (Cummings and Back, 1998; Robert et al.,
Psychotic disorders (delusions and hallucina-
tions) can affect 27–45% of AD patients (Leroi
S. Gauthier et al.
Figure 2. NPI symptoms in AD, by MMSE groupings (mild, moderate, severe) (Craig et al., 2005).
et al., 2003; Jost and Grossberg, 1996), and has
been associated with accelerated cognitive decline,
earlier institutionalization, and caregiver burnout
(Drevets and Rubin 1989; Yaffe et al., 2002; Lesser
and Hughes, 2006). Delusions most often present
in the form of beliefs of theft and infidelity, and
hallucinations (most often visual) are usually visions
of people from the past, or of intruders. Prospective
studies show that hallucinations often resolve over
a few months, but delusions and agitation are more
persistent (Ballard and Howard, 2006).
The prevalence of depression in AD patients, as
estimated in both population and clinical studies,
is between 20% (Lyketsos et al., 2000; 2003)
and 50% (Lyketsos and Olin, 2002). Regular
screening for depression in AD is recommended:
preliminary studies suggest that antidepressant
treatment instigated on the basis of screening for
the condition improves outcomes for patients (in
terms of depression symptom scores) (Cohen et al.,
2003), and may decrease the strain on the caregiver.
Sleep problems, which are estimated to occur
in 25–54% of AD patients (Chen et al., 2000;
Hart et al., 2003; Moran et al., 2005), can
impact greatly on the quality of sleep of caregivers.
It is well established that sleep disturbance,
and the accompanying caregiver stress, are very
common precipitants of institutionalization in
dementia (Vitiello and Borson, 2001). Although the
management of sleep problems is not specifically
the report published by Deschenes and McCurry
to be a significant predictor of sleep disturbance
(p=0.009) (Moran et al., 2005).
Other behavioral symptoms include personality
changes, where a person’s premorbid personality
may be accentuated, attenuated or, in some cases,
may be the complete opposite of the premorbid
character (Archer et al., 2007; Talassi et al., 2007).
Alterations in sexual behavior may also occur
Significance of NPS in AD
There is a growing interest in NPS since these
symptoms are present from the early stages
of the disease, constitute a marker of disease
progression, and strongly determine the patient’s
daily function and the clinician’s management
choices, e.g. the use of psychotropic medication.
An even more salient reason is that NPS are
a major contributor to suffering and quality of
life for both patients and caregivers (Banerjee
et al., 2006), leading to caregiver burnout and
institutionalization of patients with AD (Lesser and
Hughes, 2006; Gaugler et al., 2000). Caregiver
distress is significantly correlated with behavior,
as reflected by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
Caregiver Distress Scale (total NPI-D score), and is
unrelated to the patients’ place of residence (Craig
et al., 2005).
Factors contributing to NPS
A complex interaction of biological, psychoso-
cial/psychological, and environmental factors con-
tributes to the development and presence of NPS in
From a biological perspective, progression in brain
pathology is associated with the emergence of NPS
over the course of AD, although there have been
relatively few studies directly correlating behavior
and pathologic changes.
Psychosis has been associated with an increase
in neocortical neurofibrillary tangles (Farber et al.,
2000), and agitation in AD has been associated with
a greater burden of neurofibrillary tangles in the
orbitofrontal cortex (Tekin et al., 2001). Apathy in
AD is related to decreased perfusion and metabolic
activity, as well as increased neurofibrillary tangle
burden, in the anterior cingulate region (Migneco
et al., 2001; Marshall et al., 2006). These
associations reinforce findings from several studies
demonstrating an association between apathy in
AD and deficits in medial frontal integrity (e.g.
Apostolova et al., 2007; Marshall et al., 2007).
AD with depression is associated with more
plaques and tangles than are found in patients
not exhibiting mood changes earlier in life (Rapp
et al., 2006). Furthermore, depression in AD
is correlated with frontal and prefrontal hypo-
metabolism (Hirono et al., 1998; Holthoff et al.,
2005), and concomitant cerebrovascular disease
(Treiber et al., 2008). Decreased activity of the
suprachiasmatic nucleus (circadian pacemaker or
body clock) may be responsible for the circadian
breakdown in the sleep–wake cycle, leading to the
sleep problems commonly seen in AD (Wu et al.,
2006). Additionally, genetic factors may account
for some of the neuropsychiatric heterogeneity
associated with AD. Some studies have found
relationships between the apolipoprotein E-ε4
genotype and delusions and agitation (van der
Flier et al., 2007); others have been unable to
demonstrate genetic associations (Craig et al.,
2004), or an association between psychosis in
AD and a personal or family history of psychosis
(Kotrla et al., 1995; Craig et al., 2004). There is
some evidence that risk of depression in AD is
significantly increased in the presence of a positive
family history of depression, particularly if a first-
degree relative is affected (Pearlson et al., 1990;
Strauss and Ogrocki, 1996; Lyketsos et al., 1996);
however, this finding has not been consistently
replicated (Butt and Strauss, 2001), and in one
particular study this positive association was true
only in female patients with AD (Lyketsos et al.,
Additionally, AD is accompanied by changes in
several neurotransmitter systems in the brain. The
two most studied systems involve glutamate and
acetylcholine. Glutamate receptors are involved in
the central neuronal mechanisms responsible for
the cognitive processes of memory and learning. In
AD, glutamate release and uptake are dysfunctional
and this may contribute to the cognitive and
behavioral changes observed in AD (M¨ uller et al.,
1995). Acetylcholine is another important neuro-
acetylcholine are substantially reduced, as are the
levels of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and
acetylcholinesterase (AChE) – the two enzymes
which regulate acetylcholine function (Perry et al.,
1977; Francis et al., 1999; Rinne et al., 2003).
Increases in muscarinic cholinergic M2 receptors
have been identified in patients with psychosis (Lai
et al., 2001).
noradrenergic (noradrenaline) (Gsell et al., 2004),
dopaminergic, and serotoninergic systems in AD,
possibly contributing to the mood changes, e.g.
depression (serotonin and noradrenaline) (Raskind
and Peskind, 1994); movement disorders, e.g.
restlessness and wandering (dopamine) (Gsell et al.,
2004); and behavioral changes, e.g. aggression
(serotonin) (Zarros et al., 2005), seen in AD.
It has been proposed that 5-HT2A
polymorphisms are associated with risk of psychosis
and aggression. In particular, the 5-HT2Areceptor
102T/C polymorphism was found to be positively
delusions (p=0.045) in AD patients (Assal et al.,
2004). Further, an association between 5-HT6
receptor/ChAT ratio in frontal and temporal cortex
and aggression in AD has been reported (Garcia-
Alloza et al., 2007).
NPS may be an expression of unmet psychological
needs, such as those associated with thirst, hunger,
pain, distress, feelings of abandonment, or fear of
endangerment. Several psycho-social models have
been proposed to explain these behaviors. The
Unmet Needs Model proposes that people with
dementia are unable to articulate their needs and
therefore react to adverse situations with behaviors
that may be disturbing to others (Algase et al.,
1996; Cohen-Mansfield, 2000). For example, an
S. Gauthier et al.
impaired ability of AD patients to self-soothe may
manifest in a display of disturbing behavior in order
to feel safe and secure in a strange environment.
Verbal disturbances, such as yelling (“screamer
behavior”), or cursing, should be considered either
as an attempt to communicate these unmet needs,
as a sign of discomfort/pain due to an underlying
medical condition, or as a sign of depression
(Ramadan et al., 2000; Barton et al., 2005).
The Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold
Model posits that dementia causes a progressively
lowered threshold for stress or stimuli and that,
when these thresholds are passed, adverse behaviors
may become manifest (Hall and Buckwalter, 1987).
For example, catastrophic reactions – acute expres-
sions of overwhelming anxiety and frustration –
are often triggered in AD patients by adverse
experiences such as frustration with getting dressed,
or with paying bills, etc. These responses are often
brief and self limited, and can be avoided by
assigning manageable tasks for the AD patient.
The Learning Theory hypothesizes that en-
vironmental triggers, and feedback from others,
can influence behavior (Miesen and Jones, 1997).
This has led to the A-B-C approach, whereby
Antecedents to the behavior are recorded, as well as
and Consequences (Cohen-Mansfield, 2001). For
example, an individual may receive much attention
from nursing staff whilst they are screaming, but
be ignored when quiet, inadvertently reinforcing
screamer behavior rather than quiet behavior.
Environmental factors implicated in triggering
NPS are excessive noise/stimulation, lack of daily
structure/routine, inadequate lighting, confusing
surroundings, excessive demands, the distressing
Symptoms of NPS may be alleviated through
avoidance or minimization of these environmental
factors (Lyketsos et al., 2006).
Measurement of NPS
In clinical practice and in clinical research, the
Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) is the instrument
most commonly used to assess behavioral changes
et al., 1994;
(BEHAVE-AD) Rating Scale (Reisberg et al., 1987)
assesses a wide range of behavioral disturbances
Inventory (CMAI) (Cohen-Mansfield, 1986) is
frequently employed to evaluate agitation, and the
Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD)
assessed by the NPI (Cummings
et al., 2006b)
10Aberrant motor behavior
12 Appetite/eating changes
NPI = Neuropsychiatric Inventory
(Alexopoulos et al., 1988) assesses depressive
The current NPIevaluates
domains (Table 2) commonly encountered in
various types of dementia (Cummings et al.,
2006b). The NPI requires the frequency and
severity of behaviors to be scored by the caregiver
based on a scripted interview with the caregiver or
other knowledgeable surrogate reporter, referring
to behaviors occurring in the preceding four
weeks. In addition, the distress that caregivers
experience in response to each symptom can be
scored on the NPI caregiver distress subscale
(NPI-D). Individual symptom (domain) scores
are calculated by multiplying the frequency of
each symptom by its severity, and the NPI
total score is calculated as the sum of the
symptom/domain scores. Concurrent validity with
other instruments, as well as inter-rater and test–
retest reliability, have been established for the NPI
total score and domains (Cummings et al., 1994).
Convergent validity of the NPI has been shown
in autopsy investigations, genetic studies, cross-
cultural assessments, and neuroimaging studies
(Cummings, 2003). A recent observational study in
Europe has reported considerable variability (large
standard deviation) in NPI total scores (Reynish
et al., 2007), and significant differences between
European countries have been reported for scores
of the NPI item apathy (Robert et al., 2008b),
reflecting differences in cultural manifestations of
behavior, clinical populations, or rater training and
The NPI has been the assessment tool of choice
in many clinical trials to date, but limitations to
the methodology should be noted. In some cases,
the total NPI score may not reflect a change in
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
behavior, despite a reduction in individual domain
scores, as the domain effect is not sufficient to
impact significantly on the total NPI score. In
this case, no drug–placebo difference on the total
score will be observed. Conversely, small effects
on multiple domains may be enough to produce
a significant change in the total score in the absence
of robust changes in any specific domain. Here,
the total NPI score will show treatment–placebo
differences, but no individual domain will emerge
as responsible for the difference in the total score.
The NPI total score reflects a sum of diverse
behaviors, and can be regarded only as a rough
guide to the overall magnitude of the behavioral
disturbances of the patient. Furthermore, the total
NPI score is not a description of a clinically
recognizable entity and, as with NPS or BPSD,
the total NPI score is more a communication
device than a diagnosis. Individual NPI symptom
domains are more diagnostically informative and
therapeutically relevant than the total NPI score,
as some agents may show effectiveness on one, or a
hallucinations). Therefore, evaluating the effect of a
treatment intervention on each individual or cluster
of NPI symptoms is more likely to give an accurate
representation of its efficacy in treating multiple
neuropsychiatric syndromes. Support for the value
of single-item analysis has been demonstrated
in studies of donepezil (Gauthier et al., 2002a;
Feldman et al., 2005), galantamine (Cummings
et al., 2004a), rivastigmine (Cummings et al.,
2005), and memantine (Gauthier et al., 2005; 2008;
Cummings et al., 2006a).
in, or emergence of, symptoms in one behavioral
domain by scoring the severity (how severe)
and frequency (how often) of each symptom –
this method reflects clinical reality and has been
validated in several studies (e.g. Gauthier et al.,
2002a; 2005; Cummings et al., 2004a; 2005). The
frequency and severity of behaviors are important
dimensions of behavioral assessment and might
be useful in clinical practice, as they are easily
understood by the person rating the symptoms. For
domains, reducing the score from “present every
day” to “present only once or several times in the
week” is a meaningful result, both for the patient
and the caregiver. Likewise, reducing the severity
of a symptom from marked to mild also has face
validity. The latter (severity only) approach is used
in the brief NPI-Questionnaire (see below) (Kaufer
et al., 2000). Using only the frequency parameter
may also reduce measurement variability (Robert
et al., 2008b). Limitations of scoring based only on
caregiver input have led to the proposal of allowing
Table 3. Recommendations for the analysis of NPI
1 Single NPI items, if present at the onset of treatment,
should be analyzed for improvement
2 Single NPI items, if not present at baseline, should be
examined for emergence
3 Clusters of NPI items, present at baseline in a given
patient population or showing responses to an
intervention, may help define the symptoms most
responsive to a given treatment or treatment class
4 Two common and troublesome symptoms should be
asked about in addition to the current NPI domains
are inappropriate vocalization and inappropriate sexual
5 Research should determine whether adding a
clinician’s rating improves the validity of the NPI
6 Research should determine if using frequency only, or
severity only, usefully reduces score variability when
using the NPI in clinical trials
NPI = Neuropsychiatric Inventory
of recommendations by our group in relation to the
analysis of NPI scores, are listed in Table 3.
Recommendation 5 has been built into an NPI-
clinician rating (NPI-C), being developed at Johns
Hopkins, which is undergoing validation in the
U.S.A. and international sites (de Medeiros et al.,
2009). This is a unique attempt to take caregiver,
patient, and clinician points of view into account
in a measure that provides sufficient depth and
versatility to rate NPS across the range of dementia
syndromes, i.e. from its prodromes to its latest
It is possible that, within assessment of the
NPI, the frequency parameter may be less variable
than that of severity. To determine if this is true,
a recalculation of NPI total scores in existing
databases from randomized clinical trials should be
conducted using only the frequency parameter. The
effect of this maneuver on assessment of treatment
across multiple clinical trials will be necessary.
The value of cluster analysis – identification
of clusters of behavioral symptoms or ‘NPS sub-
syndromes’ – has been demonstrated in studies of
donepezil in AD (Gauthier et al., 2005; Cummings
et al., 2006a), one rivastigmine study in dementia
with Lewy bodies (McKeith et al., 2000), and in
performed by the European Alzheimer’s Disease
Consortium (EADC). The study conducted by
the EADC analyzed the cross-sectional data of
2,354 patients with AD from 12 centers, and
demonstrated the presence of four consistent NPS
sub-syndromes: hyperactivity, psychosis, affective,
and apathy (Aalten et al., 2007). Using these four
S. Gauthier et al.
sub-syndromes to characterize neuropsychiatric
symptoms, morethan65%ofthepatients presented
at least one of the syndromes; apathy was the most
frequent, followed by hyperactivity, affective, and
psychosis (Aalten et al., 2007).
any specific study with scales that are more
specific for the NPS sub-syndromes of interest,
e.g. hyperactivity, psychosis, agitation, affective,
and apathy. Such scales include the CMAI
(Cohen-Mansfield, 1986) for agitation; CSDD
(Alexopoulos et al., 1988), Montgomery-A˚sberg
Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) (Montgomery
and A˚sberg, 1979), or the Geriatric Depression
Scale for mood syndromes (Yesavage et al., 1982–
1983), the Geriatric Anxiety Scale (Pachana et al.,
et al., 2002), or the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES)
(Marin et al., 1991) for apathy.
Measurement of NPS at the pre-dementia stage
of the disease
Behavioral changes are not only important at a
symptomatic level but also should be considered
as an additional outcome measure in clinical trials
of disease-modifying therapies. Maximal benefit
of disease-modifying therapies will be obtained
if treatment is initiated in the early stages of
the disease before dementia clearly manifests, and
behavioral measures can assist in measuring the
benefit of the intervention.
There are two types of prevention studies:
primary and secondary. Primary prevention studies
in AD target the neuropathologic changes before
any symptoms occur. The aim, in the case
of behavioral outcomes, would be to monitor
the appearance of behavioral symptoms using
an instrument such as the NPI. “Emergence
analysis” can be used to demonstrate reductions
in the emergence of new behavioral symptoms
when comparing active treatment with placebo.
Secondary prevention studies focus on limiting the
progression of mild clinical manifestations. Mood
and motivational changes are common in patients
with mild cognitive impairment and predict a higher
rate of progression to dementia of the Alzheimer
type (Teng et al., 2007; Robert et al., 2008a). Once
present, improvement in these symptoms can be
used as an outcome in trials of this type.
Management options for NPS in AD
NPS are common in AD, causing excess disability
for patients, and distress to caregivers. Despite
Figure 3. The bio-psycho-social framework for behavioral changes
the importance of these behavioral problems,
there are no consensus treatment approaches.
Current management of behavioral disturbances
involves non-pharmacological interventions, as
well as pharmacological interventions including
antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, anxiolytics,
hypnotics, anticonvulsants, cholinesterase inhib-
itors (ChEIs), and memantine. The following
sections describe the various options that are
available for the treatment of NPS in AD.
NPS are driven by biological, psychological,
psychosocial and environmental factors, and there
is no single treatment that works for all patients or in
of NPS, it is useful to construct an etiological map;
the bio-psycho-social model (Figure 3) provides
a useful framework for considering therapeutic
interventions in AD. The first step should be to
determine the cause of the behavior (i.e. why is
a patient behaving in this way), and to attempt
to correct reversible factors, before resorting to
EVIDENCE FOR PSYCHOSOCIAL/
psychological management approaches to NPS
concluded that psycho-education for caregivers
was effective, with benefits lasting for months,
especially when delivered individually (Livingston
et al., 2005). Similar benefits were observed
when behavior management techniques centering
on individual patient or caregiver behaviors were
employed. Music therapy and sensory stimulation
were useful during the treatment period, but the
effects did not persist. One study reported that
group training of caregivers in the management of
NPS compared to individual caregiver education
significantly reduced caregivers’ distress with the
behaviors (p=0.005), and showed a trend for
reduction in care recipients’ levels of behavior
disturbance (Gonyea et al., 2006). Education and
staff training programs are also effective in the
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
nursing home environment reducing NPS (Deudon
et al., 2009).
Examples of psychological therapies include
relaxation training, which has been shown to reduce
NPS (Welden and Yesavage, 1982), Learning
Theory approaches, and massage therapy. Several
individualizing treatment approaches according to
the needs of the patient (Bird et al., 1995; Cohen-
Mansfield, 2001). Simulated presence therapy (use
of audio or video tapes of family members) has
been shown to modify behaviors in small open-
label studies (for a review, see Livingston et al.,
2005). The use of contingent reinforcement has
been shown to reduce disruptive vocalization
(Doyle et al., 1997), and patients participating in
reminiscence groups have manifested reductions
in problem behaviors (Baines et al., 1987) and
depression (Goldwasser et al., 1987).
EVIDENCE FOR INTERPERSONAL
The presence of NPS may be an expression of
unmet needs such as pain, hunger, thirst, sex,
distress, or fear of endangerment. It is the inability
of patients to comprehend these needs, or to make
these needs known to caregivers, that may result in
a display of disturbing behavior. Intervention comes
in the form of interpersonal therapies, which rely on
the interaction between the person with dementia
Caregivers can be trained to deliver behavioral
pleasurable events or caregiver problem-solving
techniques were shown to reduce both the rate and
severity of depression in AD patients over control
(Teri et al., 1997). Improvements were maintained
for six months and were accompanied by decreased
caregiver depressive symptoms (Teri et al., 1997).
A separate study demonstrated that behavior
training sessions by family caregivers resulted in
equivalent benefits for the symptoms of agitation
achieved following treatment with haloperidol,
trazodone, or placebo (Teri et al., 2000). However,
adverse effects were more common with the
drug treatments. Several studies have shown
that a multidisciplinary team approach, with
individually planned care and clinical supervision,
can reduce vocal behaviors and improve nurse–
patient cooperation (Draper et al., 2000; Edberg
and Hallberg, 1996). Additionally, methods of
nursing care have been shown to influence of
NPS. Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) and Person
Centered Care (PCC) are widely used as ways of
preventing and reducing behavioral disturbances.
A recent randomized controlled trial showed
that DCM and PCC reduced levels of agitation
compared to usual care (UC), but that PCC
was substantially more cost-effective (Chenoweth
et al., 2009). Another technique – supervised
individualized planned care with nurses – has been
demonstrated to have benefits for mood and general
behavior of patients (Edberg et al., 1999).
EVIDENCE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL
Environmental vulnerability – for example, over/
routine, provocation by others (Day et al., 2000) –
can decrease the threshold for stress (Hall and
Buckwalter, 1987), leading to disturbing behavior.
confusion and more NPS in the late afternoon
or early evening) is commonly reported; in one
study, nursing home evening staff documented
a greater incidence of hallucinations, psychosis,
among residents than their daytime colleagues
(Brodaty et al., 2001). Sundowning may result
from decreased andmodified
stimulation. When NPS appear to be triggered
by environmental factors, intervention may be as
simple as modifying the person’s environment to
reflect less institutionalized and more home-like
the grounds, and optimizing the mix of residents.
Sundowning may respond to simplification of
late afternoon and evening routines, and allowing
time for relaxation and adjustment. Agitation
and aggression have been shown to decrease
where nature sounds and large bright pictures
have been placed in bathrooms (Whall et al.,
1997). Furthermore, patients who have been
allowed to listen to their preferred music have
shown a reduction in agitation (Gerdner, 2000)
and bathtime aggression (Clark et al., 1998),
whilst those exposed to individualized “white
noise” experienced a reduction in verbal agitation
(Burgio et al., 1996). In addition to an enhanced
environment, aromatherapy – lavender oil sprayed
into the air (Holmes et al., 2002), delivered via
aroma diffusers placed on each side of the pillow
(Lin et al., 2007), or Melissa essential oil massaged
into the skin (Ballard et al., 2002) – have shown
beneficial effects on behavior in patients with
severe dementia and agitation. Bright light therapy
to aid sleep and reduce mood and behavioral
reduce agitation and/or aggression have been
proposed, but supporting studies are of limited
quality (Forbes et al., 2004), or conclusions are
S. Gauthier et al.
restricted by small sample sizes and short study
durations (Filan and Llewellyn-Jones, 2006).
Pharmacological management approaches
Effect on behavior. The most difficult to manage
NPS in dementia are agitation (aggressive and
hallucinations). Hallucinations may resolve over a
few months, but delusions and agitation are more
Antipsychotics are often used as the first-line
pharmacological approach to treat agitation and
psychosis in people with dementia. As regards
agitation generally, two placebo-controlled trials
of antipsychotics in AD over a period of six
months or longer have been conducted (Ballard
et al., 2005; Schneider et al., 2006b). One
study compared six months of treatment with
quetiapine, rivastigmine, and placebo in 93 AD
patients with significant agitation, and showed
no evidence of benefit in symptoms of agitation
(Ballard et al., 2005). However, the dose of
quetiapine used (50 mg twice daily between
Week 12 and Week 26) was lower than many
authorities would consider optimal. The second
study (CATIE-AD, Comparative Atypical Trial for
Intervention Effectiveness in Alzheimer’s Disease
study) compared nine months of treatment with
risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine, against
placebo in AD patients with clinically significant
aggression or agitation (Schneider et al., 2006b).
The results showed no significant improvement on
the Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGI-C)
for any agent, in comparison to placebo, at Week
12. Time to drug discontinuation was the primary
tolerability into a global measure of effectiveness;
physicians tended to stop placebo and quetiapine
for lack of efficacy and to stop olanzapine and
risperidone for emergence of side effects (Schneider
placebo-controlled withdrawal studies which have
demonstrated that there is no worsening of behavior
when longstanding antipsychotics are withdrawn
(Bridges-Parlet et al., 1997; Cohen-Mansfield et al.,
1999; Ballard et al., 2004). The CATIE-AD study
demonstrated that physicians change antipsychotics
rapidly after initiation and tend not to titrate to
The efficacy of short-term antipsychotic treat-
ment (lasting between 3 and 18 weeks) in AD
patients has been investigated in eight randomized
placebo-controlled trials with typical antipsychotics
(Schneider et al., 1990; Lonergan et al., 2002;
Ballard and Howard, 2006) and 18 placebo-
2006b; Jeste et al., 2008). The best evidence base is
for risperidone, where there are five published trials
indicating a modest but significant improvement
in aggression compared to placebo, with a larger
effect size at 2 mg/day. However, evidence is
limited regarding the benefit of risperidone for
other symptoms of agitation (Ballard and Howard,
2006), and for longer-term benefits (see subsequent
The evidence base pertaining to the treatment of
psychosis in AD is less substantial. The majority
of previous studies have focused specifically on
agitation symptoms or a cumulative NPS score,
with less emphasis on psychosis. A recent meta-
analysis evaluated seven trials reporting psychosis
as an outcome, using the BEHAVE-AD subscore
(Ballard and Howard, 2006). Three trials involving
risperidone indicated a modest, but significant,
improvement compared to placebo at 1 mg/day that
was not seen at other doses. Another trial supported
these data, with risperidone effectively reducing
psychosis and improving global functioning in
elderly patients with moderate-to-severe psychosis
of AD and mixed dementia (Brodaty et al.,
2005). Pooled data from two trials involving
olanzapine showed a non-significant trend towards
benefit (Ballard and Howard, 2006). However,
only two placebo-controlled trials have specifically
focused upon AD patients with clinically significant
psychosis at trial entry. In comparison with placebo,
one study suggested that risperidone did not confer
a significant benefit in AD patients with mild
to severe psychosis (Mintzer et al., 2006), whilst
the other reported that a group treated with 10
mg/day of aripiprazole showed a significant benefit
of approximately 1.5 points on the NPI psychosis
sub-scale (Mintzer et al., 2007).
The recent double-blind, placebo-controlled
study in dementia patients continuing or stopping
secondary endpoint, whether or not discontinuing
antipsychotics was associated with an exacerbation
of neuropsychiatric symptoms (Ballard et al., 2008).
The results showed that patients continuing on
antipsychotic treatment experienced a significant
deterioration in verbal fluency (p=0.002), and
also showed a non-significant decline in language
functions, but there was no significant worsening
of neuropsychiatric symptoms with treatment
withdrawal (Ballard et al., 2008).
Despite the results from these studies, there are
still substantial gaps in the knowledge surrounding
the use of antipsychotics in AD patients. In
particular, the short-term efficacy of antipsychotics
for the treatment of clinically significant psychosis
trials with atypicalantipsychotics
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
in AD is unclear, and there are very few trials
address the issue of whether ongoing antipsychotic
treatment confers any benefit for patients with
more severe aggression. The lack of long-term
treatment studies focusing on the pharmacological
management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in
AD is a major challenge to evidence-based
Safety and tolerability. Widely reported side effects
sedation, tardive dyskinesia, gait disturbances,
and falls, with many agents also producing
anticholinergic side effects, such as delirium (Tune
et al., 1991). Prolongation of the QT interval
has been reported as a significant problem with
several antipsychotics, in particular droperidol
and thioridazine (Reilly et al., 2000). A meta-
analysis also identified an increase in febrile illness
compared to placebo-treated patients, and found
that peripheral edema was increased amongst
people treated with risperidone (Ballard and
Howard, 2006). Some atypical antipsychotics, in
particular olanzapine, clozapine, and quetiapine,
hyperlipidemia (Sernyak et al., 2002).
Cerebrovascular events. Serious concerns have arisen
in the past few years regarding analyses suggesting
an increase in cerebrovascular events in AD
patients treated with antipsychotics. In 2004,
the EMEA issued a warning against the use of
in elderly patients with dementia due to the
risk of stroke (EMEA, 2004). Combining data
from placebo-controlled trials, risperidone was
associated with a three-fold increased risk of serious
(Ballard and Howard, 2006; MHRA, 2004). A
similar increase in the incidence of cerebrovascular
adverse events was noted in placebo-controlled
trials of olanzapine in elderly patients with dementia
(olanzapine 1.3% vs placebo 0.4%) (Wooltorton,
2004). By contrast, a large retrospective study
(using healthcare databases) of older people in
Canada did not identify an excess of strokes in
patients treated with atypical antipsychotics over
those treated with typical antipsychotics (Gill et al.,
2005), but the absence of diagnostic data prohibited
a specific evaluation for patients with dementia.
The balance of evidence supports the conclusion
that there is an increased risk of cerebrovascular
adverse events in patients with dementia treated
with risperidone or olanzapine. However, it is
unclear whether this is a class effect or an effect
specific to a limited subset of drugs. One study
of aripiprazole reported cerebrovascular adverse
events in four patients on a dose of 10 mg/day,
trial data, there needs to be a high level of caution
regarding the likelihood of an increased risk of
adverse cerebrovascular events.
Similarly, there is limited evidence regarding
the potential impact of typical antipsychotics on
stroke risk. The results of a large retrospective
Canadian study indicated a similar stroke incidence
in people with dementia who were prescribed
typical or atypical antipsychotics (Herrmann et al.,
2004). However, the absence of an “untreated”
comparison group in this study makes the results
difficult to interpret.
Mortality. In 2005, the FDA published a warning
to highlight a significant increase in mortality risk
(OR: 1.6–1.7) for elderly patients with dementia
treated with atypical antipsychotics compared to
placebo-treated patients in randomized controlled
trials (FDA, 2005), forcing a change to the
Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) of
atypical antipsychotics. This analysis was based
on data from 17 placebo-controlled trials with
atypical agents. However, as individual trial data
were not provided, it is unclear whether or
not the risk differs among the individual drugs.
A review of 15 of the 17 trials confirmed a
significant increase in mortality (OR: 1.54; 95%
CI: 1.06–2.23; p=0.02), and found no difference
among atypical agents (Schneider et al., 2005).
In 2008, the Committee for Medicinal Products
for Human Use (CHMP) assessment report on
conventional antipsychotics (EMEA, 2008) raised
a concern regarding physicians switching patients
from atypical to typical antipsychotics for NPS
management, in response to the FDA warning.
These medication changes were taking place based
on a lack of evidence that typical agents were
associated with a comparable mortality risk, rather
than on evidence that they were not associated
with this risk (EMEA, 2008). Subsequent to such
concerns, from 2005 onward, further observational
studies have been conducted to determine the
degree of mortality risk associated with typical
antipsychotics (EMEA, 2008). Increased mortality
associated with typical antipsychotics has been
demonstrated in some studies (e.g. Wang et al.,
2005), although with
retrospective review of Australian veterans and
war widows aged 65 years and older, who
were dispensed an antipsychotic drug, reported
considerable heterogeneity in risk of death from
antipsychotics. The greatest risk was found for
S. Gauthier et al.
haloperidol, even when controlling for its use in
terminal-state agitation (Hollis et al., 2007).
among antipsychotics were
atypical agents. For example, when compared to
olanzapine, haloperidol was clearly associated with
a significantly increased mortality risk (relative risk
[RR] = 2.26, 95% CI 2.08–2.47; p≤0.001), whilst
there was a more modest, but also significant,
increased, mortality risk for risperidone (RR =
1.23, 95% CI 1.07–1.40; p=0.003) (Hollis et al.,
2007). Furthermore, combined therapies – defined
as people taking more than one study drug – were
associated with an increase in mortality risk when
compared to olanzapine only (RR = 1.45, 95% CI:
1.10–1.98) (Hollis et al., 2007).
reported three deaths in the placebo-treated group
and eight deaths on aripiprazole 10 mg/day, with
an odds ratio of 2.7 (Mintzer et al., 2007).
As highlighted by Schneider et al. (2005), the
absolute number of excess deaths over 10–12
weeks in antipsychotic-treated AD patients is
small (Schneider et al., 2005). A key question
is whether or not this excess risk persists or
changes with longer-term therapy. The recent
extension of the DART-AD study, reporting follow-
up for up to 54 months for individual participants,
reported a similar overall relative risk to the
reports by Schneider et al. (2005) and the
FDA (2005), but indicated that the absolute risk
increased dramatically with longer-term treatment.
For example, after 36 months of exposure, 59%
of people randomized to placebo were still alive
an antipsychotic were still alive (Ballard et al.,
2009b). The cause of the increased risk of death
is unknown. Hypothetically, treatment may lead
to somnolence, and the consequent reductions in
activity levels may precipitate a cascade of events,
including increased vulnerability to chest infections
and increased use of diuretics, which combine to
confer an increased mortality risk (Ballard and
Overall, antipsychotics clearly confer significant
treatment benefit for the short-term (up to 12
weeks) treatment of aggression in people with AD,
although the benefits must be weighed against the
not insubstantial risk of serious adverse events.
The evidence base is less robust for longer-term
therapy, and for the treatment of psychosis, but the
longer-term use of antipsychotics in people with AD
is probably inadvisable, other than in exceptional
clinical circumstances. Clinical trials to identify
other safe and effective pharmacological and non-
pharmacological treatments for neuropsychiatric
symptoms in AD are an urgent clinical research
Although not subject to randomized controlled
trials (Stek et al., 2003), the use of electroconvulsive
therapy (ECT) for depression, agitation and
in the form of case series and case reports. ECT in
dementia tends to be reserved for life-threatening or
pharmacologically-unresponsive conditions, such
as severe depression or suicidality (e.g. Zink et al.,
2002), extreme agitation and aggression (e.g. Grant
and Mohan, 2001; Sutor and Rasmussen, 2008),
or psychosis associated with refusal of food and
medications (e.g. Katagai et al., 2007). In published
case reports of these particular examples, ECT
was found to be a safe and effective alternative
treatment. Support for the use of ECT in the
elderly (with or without cognitive impairment) is
almost always accompanied by warnings regarding
side effects, including increased pulse and blood
pressure – thereby increasing myocardial oxygen
demand –and thepotential for cardiacevents(Kelly
and Zisselman, 2000), as well as significant but
Rao and Lyketsos (2000) reviewed medical
charts of 31 patients diagnosed with “dementia with
depression” who had been treated with ECT, 13%
of whom were patients with AD. Following a mean
of nine ECT treatments (range 1–23), patients
experienced a significant decline in their MADRS
scores of 12.28 points (p<0.01), and 40% of
patients had MADRS scores <10 (normal). Almost
half the patients experienced transient delirium
following a treatment; however, by discharge there
was a small but significant improvement in MMSE
score of 1.62 points (p<0.02). The authors
concluded that ECT is effective against depression
in dementia, but that several treatments might be
necessary to yield significant clinical improvement
(Rao and Lyketsos, 2000).
Randomized controlled trials are needed to
assess the safety and efficacy of ECT in dementia-
associated depression if a sound evidence base is to
be generated on which to develop clinical guidance
(Stek et al., 2003).
Effects on behavior. Antidepressants and anticon-
vulsants havebeen used
of dementia for almost three decades. Despite
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
few clear inferences can be drawn. The main
problem is that potential treatments have been
directed towards poorly defined targets. Generally,
antidepressants have targeted primarily depression,
defined syndromally (e.g. major depressive episode)
or using rating scales. More recently, the use of
or broadly defined NPS. By contrast, the primary
mostly in institutionalized patients. The effect
of antidepressants or anticonvulsants in treating
psychosis is not documented systematically in the
literature, although there is evidence of potential
profile of both these classes of medications in this
setting is not fully known, although there is some
reassurance that they do not carry the mortality
risk of antipsychotics. A large retrospective cohort
study identified the following relative risk (RR)
values for 12-month mortality compared to typical
antipsychotics: for selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors (SSRIs) RR = 0.49 (95% CI 0.39–0.62),
for tricyclic antidepressants RR = 0.40 (95% CI
0.25–0.62), and for anticonvulsants RR = 0.79
(95% CI 0.51–1.24) (Kales et al., 2007).
Data from randomized controlled trials gleaned
from the literature can be grouped into three
areas: trials of antidepressants targeting depression
(mood), involving placebo or active comparator
controls; trials of antidepressants targeting agitation
trols; and trials of anticonvulsants (carbamazepine,
sodium valproate, or divalproex sodium) involving
placebo targeting agitation.
Effects on mood. The results of the placebo-
controlled studies targeting depression in dementia,
on balance, suggest efficacy, especially for the
SSRIs – citalopram and sertraline (Nyth et al.,
1992; Lyketsos et al., 2003) – although efficacy
over placebo was also observed for the non-
SSRIs – clomipramine (Petracca et al., 1996) and
moclobemide (Roth et al., 1996). The only two
trials failing to show efficacy involved one of
sertraline in severe AD, where the assessment of
depression is very difficult (Magai et al., 2000),
and one of imipramine that used the Hamilton
Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) as the only
rating of outcome (Reifler et al., 1989). The latter
result is of interest, since a recent study suggested
as the one developed at Cornell (CSDD), are more
sensitive to the treatment effects of antidepressants
in depressed AD patients than the HAM-D (Mayer
et al., 2006).
The Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease Study-
2 (DIADS-2) (Martin et al., 2006), proposed
by the consensus panel assembled by the U.S.
National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH)
(Olin et al., 2002), was, in part, designed to
clarify the safety and efficacy of the antidepressant
sertraline at 100mg/day
AD. Furthermore, DIADS-2 was also designed
to evaluate nosologically the depressive target
syndrome that is most likely to respond to
antidepressants (Martin et al., 2006).
Comparator trials of antidepressants without
placebo have involved a variety of antidepress-
ants. The findings have consistently suggested
comparable efficacy for SSRI and non-SSRI
antidepressants – in trials of fluoxetine versus
amitryptiline (Taragano et al., 1997); paroxetine
versus imipramine (Katona et al., 1998); and
citalopram versus mianserin (Karlsson et al., 2000).
In general, SSRIs (fluoxetine, paroxetine, and
citalopram) appear to be better tolerated than
the non-SSRIs (amitryptiline and imipramine)
(Taragano et al., 1997; Katona et al., 1998; Karlsson
et al., 2000). However, from the results of the
placebo-controlled studies targeting depression, the
monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor moclobemide
seems to be a promising antidepressant in terms of
tolerability (Roth et al., 1996). Of note, placebo-
controlled and comparator studies have all been
short term (≤12 weeks in duration). The DIADS-2
study has addressed this issue by extending the
period of follow-up to approximately one year in
some cases (Martin et al., 2006).
results regarding the placebo-controlled trials of
antidepressants targeting agitation, possibly due to
small sample sizes and methodology. For example,
the antidepressant trazodone showed no efficacy
over placebo in a trial of 149 AD patients with
agitation (Teri et al., 2000), but was more effective
than placebo in a randomized cross-over study in
10 patients with behavioral disturbances (Lawlor
et al., 1994). No significant effect over placebo
was noted on agitation in trials evaluating the
SSRIs fluoxetine (Auchus and Bissey-Black, 1997)
and sertraline (Lanctˆ ot et al., 2002; Finkel et al.,
2004). Effectiveness over placebo in terms of
agitation was observed with the use of citalopram,
which also showed benefits over perphenazine for
study, citalopram was found to be comparable in
in the treatment of moderate to severe NPS in
inpatients with dementia (Pollock et al., 2007). By
contrast, neither trazodone (Sultzer et al., 1997) nor
sertraline (Gaber et al., 2001) was more effective
onagitation. Therehave been mixed
S. Gauthier et al.
than haloperidol in the treatment of agitation in
patients with dementia.
While all three comparator studies of antide-
pressants for agitation have been small, they suggest
that sertraline or citalopram have comparable
efficacy to haloperidol or risperidone, respectively.
From trials evaluating anticonvulsant use for
agitation, clinical studies of divalproex sodium
and sodium valproate suggest poor tolerability and
questionable, or lack of, efficacy (Tariot et al.,
2001a; Porsteinsson et al., 2001; Sival et al., 2002;
Tariot et al., 2005; Herrmann et al., 2007a).
A Cochrane Review individually examined three
ofthe above studies
Porsteinsson et al., 2001; Sival et al., 2002). The
authors concluded that, whilst low dose valproate
preparations demonstrated insufficient evidence of
efficacy against agitation, high dose preparations
yielded unacceptable adverse events, hence its
recommended (Lonergan and Luxenberg, 2004).
A 2006 review of divalproex sodium studies also
reported findings to be conflicting – three studies
suggested short-term efficacy and tolerability, but
a fourth showed no advantage over placebo –
and concluded that the evidence available was
insufficient to guide clinical practice (Porsteinsson,
shows modest efficacy against agitation for patients
with dementia (Tariot et al., 1994; 1998; Cooney
et al., 1996; Olin et al., 2001). Two placebo-
controlled crossover trials of carbamazepine –
one conducted in nursing home patients with
dementia, and the other in patients with AD –
have demonstrated benefits of carbamazepine over
placebo on agitation (Tariot et al., 1994; Cooney
et al., 1996). Support for these results was
provided by a subsequent randomized, double-
blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the
efficacy, safety and tolerability of carbamazepine in
the treatment of agitation and aggression in patients
with severe dementia. In this study, carbamazepine
demonstrated superiority over placebo for the
treatment of agitation and aggression in this
patient group (Tariot et al., 1998). Furthermore,
a modest clinical benefit was achieved following
carbamazepine treatment in a pilot randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in agitated
subjects with AD who had been unsuccess-
fully treated with antipsychotics (Olin et al.,
Regarding divalproex sodium, a randomized
study assessing its efficacy, tolerability and safety for
the treatment of agitation associated with dementia
in agitation scores following treatment (Brief
et al., 2001a;
Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)], p=0.05; CGI-
C, p=0.06) (Porsteinsson et al., 2001). However,
divalproex sodium was poorly tolerated in this
study, and attrition challenged efficacy conclusions
(Porsteinsson et al., 2001). Two further ran-
domized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies
have investigated the efficacy and tolerability of
divalproex sodium and sodium valproate in the
treatment of agitation and/or aggression in AD
patients (Tariot et al., 2005; Herrmann et al.,
2007a). Divalproex sodium did not produce
any change in agitation (assessed using BPRS)
compared to placebo (Tariot et al., 2005), whereas
a significant deterioration in agitation/aggression
scores (assessed using the NPI) was observed for
sodium valproate compared with placebo (p=0.04)
(Herrmann et al., 2007a). Furthermore, neither
sodium valproate or divalproex sodium showed any
difference over placebo in improving aggressive
behavior associated with dementia (Sival et al.,
2002), or improving mania in elderly patients
with dementia experiencing manic symptoms,
respectively (Tariot et al., 2001a).
Collectively, the studies suggest no or limited
benefit with divalproex sodium and sodium val-
proate. Preliminary data regarding carbamazepine
for agitation indicated that further studies of this
agent are warranted.
Effect on behavior. There is evidence to suggest
that a relationship exists between behavioral
cholinergic abnormalities. This is supported by
findings of a correlation between lowered ChAT
activity in both frontal and temporal cortex and
overactivity in patients with dementia (Minger
et al., 2000). Furthermore, AD patients with
psychosis show increased muscarinic binding at
the M2 receptor, suggesting that compensatory
adjustment for the cholinergic deficit contributes to
the psychosis of AD (Lai et al., 2001). Patients with
more severe perfusion deficits of the orbitofrontal
cortex exhibit more behavioral abnormalities, and
are more likely to exhibit a beneficial behavioral
response to treatment with ChEIs (Mega et al.,
ChEIs typically improve cognition and function
in patients with AD. The total NPI is most
commonly used to assess behavior in clinical trials
of ChEIs, and frequently demonstrates behavioral
benefits (Cummings et al., 2005; Aupperle et al.,
2004). In some cases, individual NPI domain
scores may be reduced, but the effect is not
sufficient to impact on the total NPI score. The
behavioral domains affected in different studies
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
of ChEIs vary due to the different inclusion and
exclusion criteria for each clinical trial (for example,
whether psychotropic medications were allowed),
differing severity of behavioral changes at baseline,
and varying study parameters (blinding, dementia
severity at baseline, etc). The observed variation is
not necessarily an indication of differential efficacy
of the ChEIs used, but may indicate the spectrum of
positive and negative behavioral changes reported in
clinical studies of ChEIs. The behavioral symptoms
most likely to improve with ChEI treatment appear
to be apathy, depression, and aberrant motor
behavior (e.g. Feldman et al., 2005; Holmes et al.,
2004; Matthews et al., 2000; Aupperle et al., 2004;
Cummings et al., 2004a).
There are few predictors of response to ChEIs.
Patients with more severe behavioral changes at
baseline tend to have more robust responses to
therapy. The presence of visual hallucinations also
appears to predict a better cognitive response to
and behavioral responses to ChEI therapy are
only weakly correlated, and patients may exhibit
behavioral improvement while experiencing only
limited or no cognitive improvement (Spalleta et al.,
Donepezil. The behavioral effects of donepezil have
been assessed using the NPI in a variety of studies.
examining the effect of donepezil in patients with
severe AD assessed NPI as a secondary outcome,
but did not find any difference of donepezil over
placebo (Black et al., 2007; Winblad et al., 2006).
In a double-blind study of patients with moderate
to severe AD, the NPI was used as a secondary
outcome. Results showed significant reductions
(p=0.038), and apathy/indifference (p=0.0116)
(Feldman et al., 2005). Further analysis of the
same study addressed behavior only in patients
with moderate AD, and found reductions in the
symptoms of delusions and apathy (p<0.05)
(Gauthier et al., 2002b). A double-blind study
of donepezil in AD patients residing in nursing
homes reported a reduction in the number
of patients exhibiting agitation (Tariot et al.,
2001b). A prospective controlled study examining
the effects of donepezil
(CALM-AD study) did not find any difference
from placebo (Howard et al., 2007). Significant
reductions in agitation, anxiety, apathy, delusions,
depression, disinhibition, hallucinations, irritability
and aberrant motor activity were reported in the
open-label period of a study that was followed
by a blinded withdrawal of donepezil (Holmes
et al., 2004). Behavioral deterioration ensued in
the group withdrawn from donepezil. An open-
label evaluation of donepezil and sertraline found
that patients receiving donepezil showed reductions
in depression and delusion scores of the NPI
open-label studies of donepezil showed reductions
in hallucinations, elation/euphoria, irritability and
aberrant motor behavior (Matthews et al., 2000),
and disinhibition, irritability and delusions (Barak
et al., 2001). However, open-label trials are limited
by the lack of placebo control, and may be prone
to potential biases resulting from differences in
management, treatment, assessment of patients, or
interpretation of results, arising as a result of subject
or investigator knowledge of the assigned treatment
(ICH Tripartite Guideline, 2000). The donepezil
summary of product characteristics (SPC) lists
agitation as an adverse event, i.e. occurring in 1–
10% of recipients (Eisai Limited, 2009).
Rivastigmine. A double-blind comparator study,
investigating the efficacy of rivastigmine and
quetiapine for agitation in people with dementia in
institutional care, did not show efficacy for either
agent (Ballard et al., 2005). An open-label study
of patients residing in nursing homes evaluated the
efficacy of rivastigmine on behavioral symptoms in
AD (Cummings et al., 2005). Patients exhibited
a marked improvement from baseline on domain
apathy/indifference, irritability/lability and aberrant
motor behavior, which was maintained when re-
assessed at 12 months (after an extension period
of 6 months) (Aupperle et al., 2004). In addition,
symptoms of anxiety and euphoria were reduced
observed to produce stabilization of aggressiveness,
activity disturbances, hallucinations and paranoia in
AD patients observed for a two-year period (R¨ osler
et al., 1998). Agitation is sufficiently frequent as to
be reported as a “common” adverse event in the
rivastigmine SPC (Novartis Pharmaceuticals U.K.
Limited, 2009), drawing attention to differences in
reports between side effects reported by caregivers
and systematic evaluations using standardized
methodologies. Controlled trials, which are more
robustly designed to prove efficacy, failed to
show efficacy for rivastigmine on the secondary
behavioral endpoint (see potential explanations for
negative trials below), and some pivotal studies did
not include behavioral measures.
Galantamine. A pivotal trial of galantamine showed
of 16 mg/day and 24 mg/day (Tariot et al., 2000).
A post hoc analysis of this study compared patients
who exhibited behavioral symptoms at baseline
and those who did not (Cummings et al., 2004a):
S. Gauthier et al.
among patients who were symptomatic at baseline,
a greater reduction in scores was observed when
compared to placebo for aberrant motor behavior,
agitation/aggression, and anxiety. The reductions
in these domains were clinically meaningful.
Furthermore, the emergence of aberrant motor
behavior, apathy and disinhibition symptoms was
significantly less for galantamine than placebo,
inpatients who did
symptoms at baseline. A second analysis of
pooled data from three double-blind, controlled
studies of galantamine in mild to moderate
AD reported significant reductions in total NPI,
and individual domains of agitation/aggression,
anxiety, disinhibition and aberrant motor behavior,
compared to placebo. It was further observed that
the symptom cluster of hallucinations, anxiety,
apathy and aberrant motor behavior also displayed
significant improvement, leading to a proposal
that this symptom cluster in particular may be
“cholinergic-responsive” (Herrmann et al., 2005).
Agitation is listed as a “rare” adverse event
(i.e. occurring in 0.01–0.1% of recipients) in the
galantamine SPC (Shire Pharmaceuticals Limited,
Effect on behavior. Memantine has been shown
to have beneficial effects on behavior, as well
as on cognition and function. Several studies
have addressed behavior changes in response
to treatment with memantine. A double-blind,
placebo-controlled study investigating the efficacy
of memantine in patients with moderate to severe
AD, reported agitation as an adverse event in
18% of patients on memantine compared with
32% of patients on placebo (Reisberg et al.,
2003). However, despite statistically significant
benefits revealed at endpoint for some measures
in the memantine group (e.g. Clinician Interview
Based Impression of Change plus Caregiver Input
(CIBIC-plus), Severe Impairment Battery (SIB),
Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study-Activities
of Daily Living scale for severe AD (ADCS-ADL-
sev)), no significant improvement in NPI score
was seen in the memantine group, compared to
placebo (OC analysis, p=0.60) (Reisberg et al.,
2003). A later double-blind, placebo-controlled
study reported agitation as an adverse event in 9%
of patients treated with memantine compared with
14% in placebo-treated patients (van Dyck et al.,
2007). In common with the previous study,
this analysis failed to demonstrate a significant
improvement in endpoint NPI score for memantine
over placebo (OC analysis, p=0.782) (van Dyck
et al., 2007). In a prospective, placebo-controlled
study of memantine in patients with moderate to
severe AD already receiving donepezil, agitation
was reported in fewer patients receiving memantine
(9.4%) than placebo (11.9%) (Tariot et al.,
2004). Further, at study end, total NPI score
was significantly lower in the memantine group,
analysis, p=0.002) (Tariot et al., 2004).
A post hoc analysis of two placebo-controlled
trials – one monotherapy study of memantine
(Reisberg et al., 2003) and one combination study
of memantine and donepezil (Tariot et al., 2004) –
demonstrated a significant beneficial effect for
memantine in comparison to placebo treatment,
when assessed using
domain of the NPI in both studies (p=0.008;
p=0.001, respectively) (Gauthier et al., 2005).
Furthermore, a dichotomized analysis of the
monotherapy study showed
significantly less emergence of agitation/aggression
in the memantine-treated group, compared to
placebo (p=0.008), in patients who did not
have these symptoms at baseline (Gauthier et al.,
2005). This post hoc analysis also revealed a
statistically significant improvement in delusions
in irritability/lability in the combination study
(p=0.005) (Gauthier et al., 2005).
A second post hoc analysis was conducted on
the results of the combination study (Tariot et al.,
2004), and reported findings consistent with those
obtained by Gauthier and colleagues (Cummings
et al, 2006b). Analysis of the individual behavioral
domains of the NPI after 24 weeks revealed that
among those patients who had exhibited agita-
tion/aggression at baseline, there were significant
reductions in scores for these symptoms in favor of
memantine (p=0.021). Furthermore, memantine-
treated patients without agitation/aggression at
baseline evidenced significantly less emergence of
these symptoms at 24 weeks, compared with similar
patients receiving placebo (p=0.016) (Cummings
et al., 2006b). Significant reductions in the
emergence of symptoms in patients asymptomatic
at baseline were also noted for irritability/lability
(p=0.041), and night-time behavior (p=0.027)
(Cummings et al., 2006b).
An analysis of data pooled from six randomized
placebo-controlled clinical trials was performed
for all patients with moderate to severe AD,
defined as MMSE <20 (Gauthier et al., 2008).
In all studies, NPI was measured at 12 and
24/28 weeks. Statistically significant differences
between memantine and placebo were evident
at 12 weeks for the total NPI score, and the
single items of delusions (p=0.007), hallucinations
(p=0.037), agitation/aggression (p=0.001); and
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
items of delusions (p=0.001), agitation/aggression
(p=0.001), and irritability/lability (p=0.005).
Patients who did not exhibit behavioral symptoms
at baseline showed a reduction in the emergence
Week 12, and agitation/aggression (p=0.002),
behavior (p=0.05) at Week 24/28 (Gauthier et al.,
A retrospective analysis of three large ran-
domized studies has evaluated the efficacy and
safety of memantine in a subpopulation of patients
with moderate to severe AD showing behavioral
symptoms of agitation/aggression or psychosis at
baseline (Wilcock et al., 2008). The effect of
memantine and placebo on these specific symptoms
treatment advantage of memantine over placebo for
agitation/aggression at 12 weeks (p=0.011) and at
24/28 weeks (p<0.001) (Wilcock et al., 2008).
A recent study tested the hypothesis that
memantine treatment initiation modifies psycho-
tropic medication (Vidal et al., 2008). In 5,283
real-life practice memantine-treated patients, the
proportion of subjects treated with psychotropic
initiation, and reached a plateau afterwards (Vidal
et al., 2008).
The memantine SPC does not list agitation
among its undesirable effects, and lists somnolence
as the only common behavioral effect (Lundbeck
Limited, 2009). Somnolence was found to occur in
3.4% of memantine-treated patients, versus 2.2%
of placebo-treated patients (Lundbeck Limited,
Reasons for negative outcomes in clinical studies
There have been many failures to demonstrate
improvement against placebo
of NPS. There are several potential explanations
for these negative outcomes, which may be related
to the intervention (i.e. the drug), the instrument
used for assessment, the study design, or the
patient population. The drug may lack psychotropic
properties for the domains measured, or possesses
insufficient efficacy to produce a drug–placebo
difference. The instrument used to assess behavior
may be insensitive to the changes produced, or
may fail to show a positive outcome on total
score despite changes on individual domain scores.
Large standard deviations may make it difficult
to distinguish the treatment signal from the
measurement noise. A common outcome in many
negative trials is that both groups improve, but
the change is not different between the placebo
and treatment groups. Regression to the mean
may reduce behavioral measurement scores in both
treatment and placebo groups (Cummings et al.,
2004b). The increased patient attention and
assessment procedures that are implicit in clinical
especially in nursing home residents who might
be deprived of adequate stimulation. With respect
to the trial itself, behavioral symptoms may be
sufficiently modest at baseline to make beneficial
changes difficult to detect, except with very large
sample sizes, i.e. “floor effects”. Measurement
variance may be exaggerated in some trials,
e.g. in multinational studies where a variety
of translations and cultural interpretations are
required. Administration of the behavioral scale or
the collection of the data may be incorrect, with
implications for the results. This is a particular
challenge in residential care, where staff may be
ill-equipped to be reliable reporters of behaviors,
and where diurnal patterns of behavior can
result in large differences in apparent outcomes,
depending upon the time of day when ratings
are made. Patient-related considerations that might
minimize drug–placebo differences include the use
of concomitant medication (e.g. patients may be
receiving psychotropic agents affecting the response
to potential treatments), and confounding by
comorbid conditions such as urinary tract infection,
which may distort the usual severity and/or
frequency of behaviors. Additionally, patients may
have a very severe form of the disease, which
may hinder the detection of a beneficial treatment
response. Finally, the presence of medical or
neurologic comorbidity in patients may also affect
treatment response. The recommendations of the
expert panel listed in Table 3 are intended to
minimize some of these effects.
Conclusions and recommendations
No single therapy can address all behaviors. It is
critical to understand the cause of the behavior
and the person exhibiting the behavior, and to
use this information to determine what approach
is likely to be of most benefit. Further research
surrounding the “meaning” of various problem
behaviors and their prognostic implications in AD
is required, as is deeper insight into the biological,
environmental and psychosocial underpinnings of
behavioral disturbances in AD. Such information
may shed light upon more effective therapeutic
S. Gauthier et al.
Understanding the management of behavior
Clinicians must be creative in determining the
optimal management for each patient. Psychosocial
interventions are usually the first line of treatment,
and are used in conjunction with pharmacological
interventions. Medications have an important role,
but need to be used judiciously, with informed
consent from the patient or proxy, and be closely
monitored. Future drug trials should be designed
to minimize placebo effects, consider a run-in
period with psychosocial treatment prior to drug
intervention, and target specific behaviors for which
there is evidence of effectiveness.
Advancing NPS research
The field needs to reach clear consensus on
target syndromes that will be evaluated in future
psychopharmacologic trials of patients with AD
and NPS. Future evaluation of NPS needs to take
into account different points of view, in particular,
those of the caregiver and the clinician. It has been
proposed that there are two affective syndromes –
one depressive and one agitated – as well as a
psychosis syndrome (Lyketsos, 2007), which might
be reasonable targets for either anticonvulsants
or antidepressants, especially SSRIs. There is not
yet a consensus on how to define “agitation”,
and whether there are different types of agitation.
Apathy and sleep disorders are also important
therapeutic targets in this population. However,
agreement on specific syndromic criteria is needed.
For example, there is preliminary evidence that the
presence of delusions or hallucinations would not
the former may be more strongly associated with the
affective syndromes of AD.
Use of antipsychotics
Although antipsychotics are in widespread clinical
use for the treatment of NPS in people with
AD, in the context of the known harmful effects
of these agents, any research using these agents
in patients with AD/dementia must proceed with
caution. It is, however, important to determine the
comparative efficacy of new potential treatments
versus antipsychotics, which have the best current
evidence base for the treatment of NPS. One
plausible strategy is to undertake trials in people
already taking antipsychotics, who would then be
randomized either to continue the antipsychotic
or to the proposed candidate therapy. Such trials
need to include an increased focus on quality of
life and cost-effectiveness to help clarify the role
of antipsychotics and other agents in the ongoing
treatment of NPS.
Use of anticonvulsants and antidepressants
toevaluate which subgroups
better treatment response, including pharmacoge-
nomic and pharmacokinetic assessments. These
exploratory analyses may guide future trials.
Additional trials of carbamazepine appear to be
warranted; it is surprising that this drug has
not been followed up since the last publication
in 2001. Additionally methylphenidate, modafinil
and atomoxatine are good candidates for select
desvenlafaxine succinate should also be evaluated.
A clinical trials consortium of knowledgeable
investigators is needed to advance trial methods,
resolve trial challenges and develop new trialists
devoted to this area of psychotropic pharmacology
for the various dementias.
Use of ChEIs
If in line with treatment indications and disease
severity, ChEI therapy will be initiated at the time
of AD diagnosis; behavioral changes may or may
not be present at this stage. Early initiation of ChEI
treatment may defer the emergence of behavioral
changes as the disease progresses (Cummings et al.,
In the presence of NPS, therapy with a ChEI,
prior to the use of psychotropic agents, since both
cognitive and behavioral benefit may ensue, and the
use of psychotropic agents may be avoided in some
patients. Similarly, the use of ChEI therapy may
make it possible to use lower doses of psychotropic
agents (Bergman et al., 2003), or to minimize
duration of psychotropic treatment periods, thereby
minimizing risks associated with these agents. It
may be possible to discontinue therapy with psy-
chotropic medications if patients are being treated
with these agents when ChEIs are introduced.
The withdrawal of ChEIs has been associated
patients should be closely monitored for the emer-
gence of new behavioral changes if ChEIs are
withdrawn (Holmes et al., 2004). The appearance
of new or worsening behavioral disturbances in the
course of withdrawal indicates that the patient is
deriving behavioral benefit from treatment, and the
ChEI should be continued.
ChEIs reduce behavioral changes in AD as well
as improving or delaying decline in cognition and
function. Behavioral improvement associated with
ChEI treatment has been documented primarily
in patients with mild to moderate AD (Matthews
et al., 2000; Cummings et al., 2004a; Holmes et al.,
Management of behavioral problems in AD: a review
2004; Herrmann et al., 2005). The greatest effects
behavior (e.g. Matthews et al., 2000; Aupperle et al.,
2004; Cummings et al., 2004a; Holmes et al., 2004;
Feldman et al., 2005). In some studies, total NPI
scores have also been reduced (Aupperle et al.,
2004; Cummings et al., 2005).
Use of memantine
primarily from post hoc analysis of secondary
outcome measures, support a role in minimizing
agitation, ameliorating delusions and reducing
currently underway in Canada and the U.K. is
essential. It is important to determine whether
the anti-agitation and other behavioral effects, of
memantine warrant earlier use in the course of AD
to delay emergence of disruptive behaviors, which
have been shown to correlate with cognitive and
functional decline, as well as institutionalization
(Scarmeas et al., 2007). Treatment with memantine
may reduce existing behaviors and manage the
may reduce the need for atypical antipsychotics
and other psychotropic drugs (and their associated
risks) (Herrmann et al., 2007b), and provide an
option to treat with an agent that in meta-analysis
was found to have an adverse event incidence
that is comparable to placebo (Winblad et al.,
2007). Similarly, discontinuation of psychotropic
treatment may be possible if patients are being
treated when memantine is being introduced.
Memantine appears to affect behaviors (e.g.
agitation, irritability) that differ to those affected
by ChEIs (mood symptoms, apathy, aberrant
motor behavior) and combination therapy may have
advantages in patients with multiple NPS.
Practical approach to NPS
This review has illustrated the limitations in our
current knowledge for the accurate description,
measurement and treatment of NPS. Nevertheless,
therehas been significant
understanding of the most common behaviors
associated with AD, namely apathy and agitation.
Clinicians should seek to prevent the emergence of
NPS by means of caregiver education and provision
of optimal environment and suitable activities.
Individual patients’ NPS should be treated as they
emerge throughout the course of the disease. This
document summarizes available approaches and the
evidence supporting them.
In most circumstances, non-pharmacological
interventions should be attempted first, followed
by the least harmful medication for the shortest
time possible. However, if aggression is causing
extreme distress or marked risk to the patient and/or
others, short-term treatment (up to 12 weeks)
with an atypical antipsychotic is the preferred first-
line option. Anti-AD agents have psychotropic
properties; ChEIs may ameliorate apathy and
mood disturbances, and memantine may improve
agitation and irritability. In situations where phar-
macotherapy is necessary, non-pharmacological
treatments should continue to form part of the
overall management strategy. This holistic approach
of medications used, as well as aid in tailing off
medication. The participants of the “Hong Kong
Expert Round Table Meeting” are hopeful that
evidence will emerge to allow clinicians to target
specific NPS with specific treatments.
Conflict of interest declaration
Serge Gauthier has served as a consultant to
H. Lundbeck A/S, Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH,
Pfizer, Janssen, Novartis, and Lilly phamaceutical
companies; Jeffrey Cummings has served as a
consultant to Forest Laboratories, H. Lundbeck
A/S, Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Pfizer, Eisai,
companies. Within the past five years, Clive
Ballard has received honoraria from Novartis,
Eisai, Shire, Lundbeck, Myriad, Acadia and
Servier pharmaceutical companies, and research
grants from Lundbeck and Acadia pharmaceutical
consultant to or been a sponsored speaker for
H. Lundbeck A/S, Pfizer, Eisai, Janssen, Novartis,
Wyeth, and AstraZenica phamaceutical companies.
George Grossberg has served as a consultant
to Accera Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories,
H. Lundbeck A/S, Medivation, Novartis, PAM
Labs, and Pfizer. Philippe Robert has served as
a consultant to H. Lundbeck A/S, Merz Pharma-
ceuticals GmbH, Eisai, Janssen, Novartis, Wyeth,
and GlaxoSmithKline phamaceutical companies.
(research grants or CME) from the National
Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the
National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Associated
Jewish Federation of Baltimore, the Weinberg
Foundation, and Forest, GlaxoSmithKline, Eisai,
Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca, Lilly, Ortho-McNeil, Bristol-
Myers Squibb, and Novartis
companies. He is consultant/advisor to Astra-
Zeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eisai, Novartis, Forest,
Supernus, Adlyfe, Takeda, Wyeth, Lundbeck,
Merz, Lilly, and Genentech, and has received
has served asa
S. Gauthier et al.
honoraria or travel support from Pfizer, Forest,
GlaxoSmithKline, and Health Monitor.
Description of author’s roles
Each listed author researched and drafted an
original text prior to the Expert Round Table
Meeting. The authors came together at the Expert
Meeting to share views, and the ensuing discussions
directed the final content and structure of the
manuscript. Once the original texts had been
combined and edited, each author provided critical
review of the full manuscript. Constantine Lyketsos
was involved in the Round Table Meeting for which
also involved in planning the review, the manuscript
and the revision of the manuscript. He approved the
final version. Serge Gauthier and Jeffrey Cummings
led this process, providing extensive review of the
The authors wish to thank Forest Laboratories
Inc, H. Lundbeck A/S, and Merz Pharma GmbH
Table Meeting and the commissioned editorial
support provided by the team of science writers
and technical editors at Cambridge Medical
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