Cholinesterase Inhibitors Show Limited Effectiveness in Treating Psychotic Symptoms in Dementia
The increasing prevalence of dementia worldwide has led to a rise in associated psychotic symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. A recent meta-analysis examined the potential of cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) in treating these symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), revealing significant but clinically insignificant effects.
- A meta-analysis found ChEIs to reduce the severity of delusions and hallucinations in AD and PD.
- Effect sizes were small, ranging from −0.08 to −0.14, and considered clinically insignificant.
- No drugs have been specifically approved for psychotic symptoms in dementia, except pimavanserin in PD.
- Antipsychotic drugs, while effective, carry risks of serious adverse events, including mortality.
- Many unknowns remain in ChEIs treatment, such as optimal dosing, time to improvement, and chances of symptom remission.
- In May 2023, the FDA approved brexpiprazole for treating agitation in Alzheimer’s disease.
- ChEIs show some promise in reducing psychotic symptoms in dementia, but the effects are minimal and further research is needed to identify more effective treatments.
Did You Know?
The global prevalence of dementia is expected to rise from 57.4 million cases in 2019 to a staggering 152.8 million cases in 2050.