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Review: Antidepressants improve depression in people with Alzheimer’s disease

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Are antidepressants effective and safe for people with depression and Alzheimer’s disease?

Thompson S, Herrmann N, Rapoport MJ, et al. Efficacy and safety of antidepressants for treatment of depression in Alzheimer’s disease: a meta-analysis. Can J Psychiatry 2007;52:248–55.


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Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Embedded ImageData sources:

MEDLINE (January 1966 to June 2006), the Cochrane Database (search date not stated), and hand search of reference lists of relevant articles.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and analysis:

Double-blind placebo controlled trials of antidepressants in adults with Alzheimer’s disease (DSM-III, DSM-III-R, DSM-IV, or National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke-Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders criteria) and depression (major depressive disorder or episode, dysthymic disorder, or minor depression according to DSM-III, DSM-III-R, or DSM-IV criteria). Only English language studies were included, and studies of drugs not available in North America or studies not presenting sufficient data for inclusion in meta-analysis were excluded. Study quality appraisal and data extraction were carried out by two researchers. Analyses were conducted using Review Manager Version 4.2. …

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  • Sources of funding: No industry or grant support.


  • Competing interests: CL has received financial support from NIMH, NIA, Associated Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Forest, GlaxoSmithKline, Eisai, Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca, Lilly, Ortho-McNeil, Bristol-Myers, Novartis and Health Monitor, and has acted as a consultant to Astra-Zeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eisai, Novartis, Forest, Supernus, Adlyfe, Takeda and Wyeth.

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