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Int Psychogeriatr. 2001 Sep;13(3):277-88.

Dementia with Lewy bodies treated with rivastigmine: effects on cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and sleep.

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  • 1Princess Margaret Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a common cause of the dementia syndrome. Symptomatic treatment of the fluctuating cognition, visual hallucinations, and sleep disturbance that characterize this condition is challenging; neuroleptics are relatively contraindicated. We describe eight patients fulfilling the consensus diagnostic criteria for probable DLB who were treated with rivastigmine. Clinical features rated were: cognition by the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS); and behavioral and psychiatric symptoms by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Additional information was obtained from family and nursing reports. Seven patients showed resolution or improvement in cognition and neuropsychiatric symptoms as demonstrated by improvement in their 3MS and NPI scores. They also became more independent in mobility and activities of daily living, and the majority returned to live in their own home. Of the seven patients with sleep disruption, six improved. One case had no improvement in his symptomatology and the rivastigmine was stopped. Outcomes in this case series suggest that rivastigmine is well tolerated in clinical practice.

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