A Framework for Developing Pharmacotherapy for Agitation in Alzheimer's disease: Recommendations of the ISCTM Working Group

Year: 2020
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O’Gorman, C., Khoury, R., Anderson, A., Carter, M., DiCesare, F., Dubé, S. & Lind, S.


Dementia is characterized by a significant decline in one of several cognitive domains such as memory, language and executive function, affecting independence and representing a significant deterioration from a previous level of functioning. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) represents the most common form of dementia and contributes up to 70% of the almost 50 million dementia cases worldwide, a number that is projected to double in 20 years.

One or more behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), also known as neuropsychiatrie symptoms (NPS), including anxiety, depression, apathy, agitation and psychosis, occur in almost all dementia cases, and are associated with decreased functioning, increased caregiver burden, earlier care facility placement, faster disease progression and increased risk of death.

Agitation is one of the most challenging behavioral symptoms and is associated with a higher risk of institutionalization when compared to other BPSD, and a substantial economic burden.

Until recently, agitation in dementia was poorly defined and applied to heterogeneous patient populations. In 2015, an international group of experts under the auspices of the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) published a provisional consensus definition of agitation in patients with dementia (presented in table 1) to enhance communication regarding this condition and facilitate research in the field.




Framework, Pharmacotherapy, Alzheimer's Disease
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