Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

No magic pill for treating dementia symptoms

02.02.2005


Many of the drugs commonly prescribed to treat agitation, delusions and other symptoms that can accompany dementia are not effective, researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues report this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.



"Our review of 29 research studies found that drug therapies are not particularly effective for managing symptoms such as agitation, wandering and delusions that are observed in most patients with dementia at some point in the illness," said Kaycee Sink, M.D., lead researcher. "There is no clear standard of care, and treatment is often based on local prescribing customs."

While the primary symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia involve memory deficits, other symptoms, including agitation, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, repetitive vocalizations and wandering have been observed in 60 percent to 98 percent of patients. "Dementia-related behaviors are very distressing to both caregivers and medical professionals," said Sink, a geriatrician. "It was discouraging to find that we currently don’t have good drug therapies for them."


More than half of people over age 85 are affected by dementia. Dementia-related behavioral problems are associated with longer hospital stays and often lead to placement in a nursing home. About 30 percent of the cost of caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease is attributed to managing these symptoms, Sink said.

Sink and colleagues, Karen F. Holden, M.D., and Kristine Yaffe, M.D., both from the University of California at San Francisco, reviewed 29 research studies published between 1966 and mid-2004 that involved drug therapy commonly used for patients with dementia-related behaviors.

The study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of current treatments for these behaviors and provide physicians with an evidence-based assessment of treatment options. The researchers analyzed data from studies evaluating more than 15 drugs that are commonly prescribed for dementia symptoms, including antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers. They found that two drugs (risperidone and olanzapine) in a class known as atypical antipsychotics have the best evidence for effectiveness. "However, the effects are modest and are complicated by an increased risk of stroke," the authors write. "Physicians considering prescribing these drugs should discuss the potential risks and benefits with patients and their caregivers."

Because federal expenditures for dementia are expected to triple in the next 10 years, the authors said it is essential to find more effective treatments. They said non-drug therapies should always be considered first, and that some small studies have shown that music therapy, aromatherapy, pet therapy and caregiver education may be effective. "Larger, well-designed controlled trials of non-drug interventions are needed," said Sink, an assistant professor of internal medicine – geriatrics.

The authors said that additional studies of drug therapy are also needed and that a large multi-center center study now under way to compare four atypical antipsychotic drugs will be particularly valuable.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

UCLA engineers use deep learning to reconstruct holograms and improve optical microscopy

22.11.2017 | Medical Engineering

Watching atoms move in hybrid perovskite crystals reveals clues to improving solar cells

22.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young

22.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>