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Olanzapine in dementia with Lewy bodies: A clinical study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Janet Grace, Professor Ian McKeith


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Objectives. Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is now a well-recognized form of dementia in which psychosis and behavioural disturbance are common. Treatment with conventional neuroleptics is often very poorly tolerated. Olanzapine, a newly introduced atypical neuroleptic which binds to multiple receptor types with relatively low affinity for D2 receptors, may be a useful treatment option in DLB. Main outcome measures. The Behavioural Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale, The Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and The Webster Disability Scale. Design. We present the results of eight DLB patients with associated psychotic and behavioural difficulties. All patients were given olanzapine 2.5-7.5 mg. Their psychotic phenomena and behavioural and extrapyramidal symptoms were monitored at 2-weekly intervals. Results. Three out of the eight patients could not tolerate olanzapine even at the lowest available dose. Two patients had clear improvement in psychotic and behavioural symptoms. Three patients were able to tolerate olanzapine but gained only minimal benefit. Conclusions. Olanzapine at the doses used conferred little advantage over conventional neuroleptics and should only be given with great caution to patients with DLB. The utility of smaller doses deserves further evaluation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Walker Z, Grace J, Overshot R, Satarasinghe S, Swan A, Katona CLE, McKeith IG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Year: 1999

Volume: 14

Issue: 6

Pages: 459-466

Print publication date: 01/06/1999

ISSN (print): 0885-6230

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1166

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1166(199906)14:6<459::AID-GPS957>3.0.CO;2-R

PubMed id: 10398356


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