Antidepressants in Dementia patients double blind, randomised, parallel group, placebo controlled trial

Posted by: admin on: April 12, 2012

Here is a study done on dementia and neuropsychiatric patients who had their antidepressants discontinued.


To determine the effect of discontinuing antidepressant treatment in people with dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Double blind, randomised, parallel group, placebo controlled trial.

PARTICIPANTS128 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or vascular dementia, and neuropsychiatric symptoms (but no depressive disorder), who had been prescribed escitalopram, citalopram, sertraline, or paroxetine for three months or more. We excluded patients with severe somatic disease or terminal illness, or who were unable to take tablets or capsules as prescribed.

INTERVENTIONS Antidepressant treatment was discontinued over one week in 63 patients, and continued in 68 patients. We assessed patients at baseline, four, seven, 13, and 25 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Primary outcomes were score differences between study groups in the Cornell scale of depression in dementia and the neuropsychiatric inventory after 25 weeks. Secondary outcomes were score differences in the clinical dementia rating scale, unified Parkinson’s disease rating scale, quality of life-Alzheimer’s disease scale, Lawton and Brody’s physical self maintenance scale, and severe impairment battery.

CONCLUSIONS Discontinuation of antidepressant treatment in patients with dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms leads to an increase in depressive symptoms, compared with those patients who continue with treatment.


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