Alzheimer's Disease Psychosis
Over 40% of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will experience delusions and hallucinations as part of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition known as AD psychosis. The condition is often recurrent, severe, and is associated with an increased likelihood of nursing home placement and increased morbidity and mortality.
There is no FDA approved medication for the treatment of AD psychosis, but D2 atypical antipsychotics are sometimes used off-label to treat these symptoms. There are significant side effects and safety issues that can occur in patients receiving atypical antipsychotics. Some of these are weight gain, diabetes, metabolic disturbances, QTc interval prolongation, myocarditis, and sexual side effects. The use of D2 antipsychotics can also lead to tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder. Atypical antipsychotics have been associated with an increased risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.