Alzheimer's Disease Psychosis

Approximately 40% of people with Alzheimer’s disease will experience delusions and hallucinations as part of their diagnosis – this is a condition known as Alzheimer’s disease psychosis. Neuropsychiatric symptoms including psychosis are associated with a worse prognosis and earlier progression to nursing home care, severe dementia and death.

There is no FDA approved medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease psychosis, but up to one-third of people with Alzheimer’s disease psychosis are treated with dopaminergic atypical antipsychotics, and even some typical antipsychotics, that are not approved by the FDA to treat these symptoms. Clinical trials of antipsychotics in Alzheimer’s disease psychosis have shown modest or no clinical benefit and serious safety risks, including accelerating cognitive decline and new onset or worsening of extrapyramidal symptoms. Dopaminergic atypical antipsychotics also have been associated with an increased risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.