Pharmacological Management of Agitation and Aggression in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Review of Current and Novel Treatments

Author(s): Celina S. Liu, Myuri Ruthirakuhan, Sarah A. Chau, Nathan Herrmann, André F. Carvalho, Krista L. Lanctôt.

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 13 , Issue 10 , 2016

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Abstract:

Agitation and aggression are common neuropsychiatric symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and are highly prevalent in people with dementia. When pharmacological intervention becomes necessary, current clinical practice guidelines recommend antipsychotics, cholinesterase inhibitors, and some antidepressants. However, those interventions have modest to low efficacy, and those with the highest demonstrated efficacy have significant safety concerns. As a result, current research is focusing on novel compounds that have different mechanisms of action and that may have a better balance of efficacy over safety. The purpose of this review is to evaluate novel pharmacological therapies for the management of agitation and aggression in AD patients. We performed a comprehensive literature search to identify recent novel drugs that are not included in most clinical practice guidelines or are currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of agitation and/or aggression in AD. This review suggests that novel treatments, such as cannabinoids, lithium, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, narcotics, and newer antiepileptic drugs, may provide a safer alternative treatment option for the management of agitation and aggression in AD and requires further study in order to clarify their risks and benefits.

Keywords: Agitation, aggression, Alzheimer’s disease, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, cannabinoids, lithium, narcotics.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 13
ISSUE: 10
Year: 2016
Page: [1134 - 1144]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/1567205013666160502122933
Price: $58

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