Studies into depression and agitation and aggression will play a key role in helping to reduce inappropriate prescriptions of antipsychotics for people with dementia. These symptoms can cause significant distress for people with dementia and carers and are often the reason for antipsychotics being prescribed.
Findings from the studies include:
- two common antidepressants are not clinically effective for treating significant depression in Alzheimer’s
- agitation levels of people with moderate or severe dementia in care homes who were treated with pain medication were reduced by 17 per cent over eight weeks
- the Alzheimer’s drug Ebixa was not beneficial for treating clinically significant agitation in people with later stage Alzheimer’s although there was a potential benefit for aggression and it did improve cognition
- Alzheimer’s Society and the Department of Health (2011) Optimising treatment and care for people with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. London, Alzheimer’s Society.
The guide provides information, advice and resources for treatment and person-centred care for people with dementia experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms.
- Dementia Action Alliance and NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (2011) The Right Prescription: a call to action on the use of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia . London, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.