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Neuroleptics are associated with more severe tangle pathology in dementia with Lewy bodies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clive Ballard, Emeritus Professor Robert Perry, Professor Ian McKeith, Emeritus Professor Elaine Perry


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Background Neuroleptics are only modestly effective in dementia and asociated with a range of adverse effects including cognitive decline. Effects of the drugs on molecular pathology in brain tissue from people with dementia have not been investigated. Objectives To compare the severity of Alzheimer type pathology in matched groups of people with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), treated and not treated with neuroleptics. Methods The relationship between neuroleptics and Alzheimer-type pathology was determined in 40 (17 neuroleptic treated, 23 neuroleptic free, matched for age, disease duration and psychosis) clinically prospectively studied, autopsy diagnosed DLB patients. Results In regression analyses, taking neuroleptics was significantly associated with increased neurofibrillary tangles but not amyloid plaques in cortical areas examined. The patient characteristics and the frequencies of key psychiatric symptoms were similar in the patients taking and not taking neuroleptics. Conclusion Although patients were not randomized and the results which are observed need to be interpreted cautiously, if substantiated, this is an important finding with major implications for the pharmacological management of DLB patients and highlights the need to determine the impact of neuroleptics upon tangle pathology in AD. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ballard CG, Perry RH, McKeith IG, Perry EK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Year: 2005

Volume: 20

Issue: 9

Pages: 872-875

ISSN (print): 0885-6230

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1166

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/gps.1378


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