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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;23(4):393-400.

Quetiapine treatment for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in Alzheimer's disease patients: a 6-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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  • 1Neurology Service and Memory Clinic, Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Bat-Yam, Israel. paleacu@post.tau.ac.il



Treating elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is challenging due to the increased risk of iatrogenic movement disorders with old neuroleptics and the seemingly increasing risk of cardiovascular events with newer atypical agents. Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic agent that warrants further investigation.


To assess tolerability, safety, and clinical benefit of quetiapine in AD patients with BPSD.


AD patients with BPSD participated in a 6-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Quetiapine was increased on the basis of clinical response and tolerability. Primary efficacy assessments included the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGI-C). Secondary efficacy measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Simpson-Angus Scale (SAS) and the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS).


Forty patients (26 women), mean age 82.2 (SD 6.4) years were enrolled, 27 completed treatment. Median dose of quetiapine was 200 mg/day. Significant NPI total scores reductions (79% for placebo and 68.5% for quetiapine) were observed. The CGI-C score decreased significantly in the quetiapine group (p = 0.009 at 6 weeks) and did not change significantly in the placebo group (p = 0.48). The MMSE, AIMS, SAS scores and adverse events did not differ significantly between the two arms.


Quetiapine did not significantly improve psychosis scores. It did not cause cognitive and motor deterioration. These results might possibly be due to small sample size.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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