Behavioral and psychological symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease Volume 2, issue 7, septembre 2010


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Centre mémoire de ressources et de recherche, CHU Nice, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis

Behavioural and psychological symptoms (BPSD) are frequently associated to cognitive and functional decline in Alzheimer‘s disease. BPSD can be present very early during the evolution of the disease. They have negative impact on disease process, lead to quicker institutionalization and contribute to patient and caregiver distress. Across all epidemiological studies, apathy, depression and anxiety are the most frequent BPSD. Diagnosis of BPSD often requires patient’s and caregiver’s interview. Non pharmacologic approach must be first-line treatment of BPSD. Anti-dementia agents (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine) may facilitate management of BPSD and may decrease the use of psychotropic agents. Prescription of psychotropic agents should be for a limited period and frequently re-assessed. Anticholinergic agents must be avoided because they tend to reduce the action of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.