Innovations: Geriatric Psychiatry: Diagnosis and Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Alzheimer's Disease
Helen Lavretsky, M.D. and Lang Hai Nguyen, B.S. The authors review research on the treatment of behavioral disturbances and psychiatric symptoms of patients with dementia, including pharmacological treatment with antipsychotics, antidepressants, cholinesterase inhibitors, and other psychotropic drugs. They conclude that although these medications have some beneficial effects, no intervention is currently able to eradicate behavioral disturbances and psychiatric symptoms of demented patients. Research suggests that multiple interventions for an individual patient are likely to replace the use of a single treatment. Such interventions include caregiver training and support, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and cholinesterase inhibitors, along with other drugs developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.