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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;36(3-4):211-28. doi: 10.1159/000353892. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Pharmacological treatment of dementia: a scoping review of systematic reviews.

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Section of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Until now, multiple reviews on the pharmacological treatment of dementia have been published.


We performed a scoping review to summarize research findings and to identify gaps in the existing literature. We searched the literature and assessed the risk of bias of the included reviews. A team of clinical experts assessed the fields in which more research is necessary. Fifty-five reviews with a low risk of bias were included, most of them concerning the treatment of cognitive decline (n = 16) and behavioral symptoms (n = 10) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). For cognitive impairment, cholinesterase inhibitors (n = 13) and memantine (n = 7) were described most frequently. Little information was found about the treatment of depression in dementia.


For many current treatments, there is sufficient evidence. New research should focus on the symptomatic treatment of the earliest and most salient complaints in AD as well as on disease-modifying interventions acting at the level of the amyloid cascade.

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