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Atypical antipsychotics fail to improve functioning or quality of life in people with Alzheimer’s disease

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What are the clinical responses to atypical antipsychotic drugs in people with Alzheimer’s disease?


421 people (mean age 78 years, 56% female) with either dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (DSM-IV) or probable Alzheimer’s disease (National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association Criteria) and psychosis or agitated/aggressive behaviour. (See online notes for list of inclusion and exclusion criteria.)


Outpatient setting, 42 centres, USA; time period not stated.


Flexibly dosed olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone or placebo (randomisation in a 2:2:2:3 ratio) for up to 36 weeks.


Psychiatric and behavioural symptoms measured at baseline and 2, 4, 8, 12, 24 and 36 weeks using: Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI); Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS); Cornell Scale for Depression Dementia; and Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC). Cognitive skills, functional abilities, care needs and quality of life were measured at baseline and at 12, 24 …

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  • Source of funding: National Institute for Mental Health, US Department of Veterans affairs. Medications provided by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Forest Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly.


  • Competing interests: None.

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