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 Alzheimers 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 dont have good drug therapies for them."
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
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