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Pharmacological Management of Lewy Body Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian McKeith, Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD, Professor John O'Brien


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OBJECTIVE: The authors examined research on effects, costs, and patient and caregiver views of pharmacological management strategies for Lewy body dementia.METHOD:Studies were identified through bibliographic databases, trials registers, gray literature, reference lists, and experts. The authors used the search terms "Lewy or parkinson" and "dementia" through March 2015 and used the following inclusion criteria: participants with diagnoses of Lewy body dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, or Parkinson's disease dementia (or participants' caregivers); investigation of pharmacological management strategies; outcome measures and test scores reported. Data extraction and quality assessment were conducted by at least two authors. Meta-analyses were conducted, and when studies could not be combined, summaries were provided.RESULTS:Forty-four studies examining 22 strategies were included in the review. Meta-analysis indicated beneficial effects of donepezil and rivastigmine for cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Rivastigmine, but not donepezil, was associated with greater risk of adverse events. Meta-analysis of memantine suggested that it is well tolerated but with few benefits. Descriptive summaries provide some evidence of benefits for galantamine, modafinil, levodopa, rotigotine, clozapine, duloxetine, clonazepam, ramelteon, gabapentin, zonisamide, and yokukansan. Piracetam, amantadine, selegiline, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, and citalopram do not appear to be effective.CONCLUSIONS:High-level evidence related to pharmacological strategies for managing Lewy body dementia is rare. Strategies for important areas of need in Lewy body dementia, such as autonomic symptoms and caregiver burden, have not been investigated, nor have the views of patients and caregivers about pharmacological strategies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stinton C, McKeith I, Taylor JP, Lafortune L, Mioshi E, Mak E, Cambridge V, Mason J, Thomas A, O'Brien JT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Psychiatry

Year: 2015

Volume: 172

Issue: 8

Pages: 731-742

Print publication date: 01/08/2015

Acceptance date: 27/03/2015

ISSN (print): 0002-953X

ISSN (electronic): 1535-7228

Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.14121582

PubMed id: 26085043


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Funder referenceFunder name
Biomedical Research Centre
GE Healthcare
NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Dementia
NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia
DTC-RP-PG-0311-12001National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)