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Management of non-cognitive symptoms associated with dementia

Abstract

Up to 75% of patients with dementia will experience non-cognitive symptoms.1 These often present as psychotic symptoms, behavioural disturbances and changes in mood.1 Such symptoms provide a significant challenge for patients and their carers, and are often difficult to manage. Antipsychotic drugs have been widely used to treat non-cognitive symptoms of dementia. However, in 2004 data emerged linking the use of some antipsychotic drugs with an increased risk of stroke and death in patients with dementia.2 Since then, there has been a national drive to ensure that antipsychotic drugs are used appropriately. In 2007, we reviewed the safety of antipsychotics in people with dementia.3 Here, we provide an update on the evidence for the efficacy and safety of interventions used to manage non-cognitive symptoms of dementia.

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