Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Dec;27(12):1248-57. doi: 10.1002/gps.3769. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

The association of psychotropic medication use with the cognitive, functional, and neuropsychiatric trajectory of Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA. prosenb9@jhmi.ed

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The use of psychotropic medications in Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been associated with both deleterious and potentially beneficial outcomes. We examined the longitudinal association of psychotropic medication use with cognitive, functional, and neuropsychiatric symptom (NPS) trajectories among community-ascertained incident AD cases from the Cache County Dementia Progression Study.

METHODS:

A total of 230 participants were followed for a mean of 3.7 years. Persistency index (PI) was calculated for all antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), antipsychotics (atypical and typical), and benzodiazepines as the proportion of observed time of medication exposure. Mixed-effects models were used to examine the association between PI for each medication class and Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-Sum), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory - Total (NPI-Total) trajectories, controlling for appropriate demographic and clinical covariates.

RESULTS:

At baseline, psychotropic medication use was associated with greater severity of dementia and poorer medical status. Higher PI for all medication classes was associated with a more rapid decline in MMSE. For antidepressant, SSRI, benzodiazepine, and typical antipsychotic use, a higher PI was associated with a more rapid increase in CDR-Sum. For SSRIs, antipsychotics, and typical antipsychotics, a higher PI was associated with more rapid increase in NPI-Total.

CONCLUSIONS:

Psychotropic medication use was associated with more rapid cognitive and functional decline in AD, and not with improved NPS. Clinicians may tend to prescribe psychotropic medications to AD patients at risk of poorer outcomes, but one cannot rule out the possibility of poorer outcomes being caused by psychotropic medications.

PMID:
22374884
PMCID:
PMC3448859
DOI:
10.1002/gps.3769
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Substances

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center