Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug Reduces Aggression, Wandering And Paranoia In Alzheimer's Patients

Date:
December 10, 2008
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Cholinesterase inhibitors, used to treat cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, are also a safe and effective alternative therapy for the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, according to a study in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging.

Cholinesterase inhibitors, used to treat cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, are also a safe and effective alternative therapy for the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, according to a study that appears in the December 2008 edition of Clinical Interventions in Aging.

Investigators from the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Regenstrief Institute and Wishard Health Services reviewed nine randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of three popular cholinesterase inhibitors in managing behavioral and psychological symptoms displayed by patients with Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers report that the trial results indicate cholinesterase inhibitors led to a statistically significant reduction in behavioral and psychological symptoms such as aggression, wandering or paranoia when using the same dosage as administered for improving cognitive impairment.

Nine out of 10 Alzheimer's disease patients display behavioral and psychological symptoms of their disease. The review of the clinical trials revealed that cholinesterase inhibitors are safe, producing no major side effects.

"There is a need for safe alternatives to the anti-psychotic drugs currently used to manage the behavioral and psychological symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The results of the studies we analyzed are encouraging and suggestive that cholinesterase inhibitors are safe and effective alternatives. However, they are underutilized and typically prescribed for less than three months and for less than 10 percent of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Our findings might provide clinicians with useful data to justify the appropriate use of these medications," said Malaz Boustani, M.D., corresponding author of the Clinical Interventions in Aging paper. Dr. Boustani is assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, a Regenstrief Institute research scientist, a research investigator with the IU Center for Aging Research, and chief research officer of the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia.

In Alzheimer's disease there is a decrease in acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain that assists memory, thought and judgment. Cholinesterase inhibitors raise acetylcholine levels. Increased concentrations of acetylcholine in the brain leads to increased communication between nerve cells and may improve or stabilize the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in the early and moderate stages of progression.

Noll Campbell, PharmD, a clinical pharmacy specialist in geriatric psychiatry with Wishard Health Services and corresponding author of the paper, said that, "This class of medications has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to manage symptoms of Alzheimer's-type dementia, although their potential benefits on behavioral symptoms are not frequently identified by many prescribers. Clinical trials of cholinesterase inhibitors have shown benefits in several domains of cognitive function as well as behavioral symptoms associated with dementia, and may improve the management of behavioral problems while reducing the use of more harmful medications that are needed to control behaviors."

Dr. Boustani noted that the vast majority of busy primary care physicians, the doctors who see the majority of patients with Alzheimer's disease, are unaware of the details of the studies analyzed in the Clinical Interventions in Aging paper and he hopes that this new paper, which reviewed the studies, will encourage them to prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors, with its benefits for both cognition and behavior symptoms to their Alzheimer's disease patients.

Other co-authors of the study are Amir Ayub, M.D., IU Center for Aging Research; Martin Farlow, M.D., professor of neurology at the IU School of Medicine; Chris Fox, MPsyMed and Ian Maidment, MRPharmS, MCMH of the University of Kent; and Robert Howard, M.R.C.Psych. of King's College, London.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Drug Reduces Aggression, Wandering And Paranoia In Alzheimer's Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081209125838.htm>.
Indiana University. (2008, December 10). Drug Reduces Aggression, Wandering And Paranoia In Alzheimer's Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081209125838.htm
Indiana University. "Drug Reduces Aggression, Wandering And Paranoia In Alzheimer's Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081209125838.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins