Background: Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) accounts for approximately 50% of all
cases of dementia and, in spite of the great effort for the development of disease-modifying
drugs, a definitive treatment of cognitive impairment is not available yet. A perfect adherence
to the current therapy of cognitive decline is needed for a better control of the disease and this
is proven to reduce, though not completely abolish, the associated Behavioural and Psychological
Symptoms of Dementia (BPSDs) from occurring. This cluster of symptoms, remarkably
affecting patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQL), is tightly associated with pain states.
Antipsychotics are the only treatment for BPSDs. However, these drugs are more effective
and safer in the short-term (6-12 weeks), they are able to manage aggression but not agitation
and they cannot control pain. Aromatherapy with Melissa officinalis and Lavandula officinalis
has been employed to handle BPSDs, but it has not provided strong evidence to offer relief
Objective: Bergamot Essential Oil (BEO) exerts antinociceptive activity through several
pharmacological mechanisms: in particular, it is able to enhance autophagy, a process undergoing
derangement in chronic pain. Thus, the sound pharmacological basis for clinical translation
of aromatherapy with BEO in the treatment of BPSDs has been pointed out.
Conclusion: The antinociceptive effects elicited by BEO in experimental pain models make it
a possible candidate for the pharmacological management of pain-related BPSDs.
Keywords: Aromatherapy, Bergamot Essential Oil, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSDs), Pain.
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