Researchers have found that the drug effective in delusions in Parkinson's patients can work the same action in people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. This drug is effective on symptoms that patients and caregivers face like hallucinations that often lead to aggression, anxiety, and physical and verbal abuse.
Although the researchers mainly focus on finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease, there is an unmet need for better treatment to reduce the symptoms of the disease. The drug is pimavanserin, a daily medicine sold as Nuplazid by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc, which is an approved drug for Parkinson's related psychosis in 2016 and is thought to work by blocking a brain chemical that seems to spur hallucinations. The number of patients with dementia is suggested to increase, and 30% of them develop psychosis.
The study included 400 people with dementia and psychosis. All patients were given a low dose of the drug for three months, and those patients who responded to the medication and showed benefit was split into two groups. The half group continued the drug, and others were given dummy pills for six months or until they had worsening symptoms. There were 5% in the drug group and 4% in the others with a few severe side effects. Urinary tract infections and headaches were more common among those on the drug. Current antipsychotic medicines have some significant drawbacks and still not approved for dementia patients. The cost of these medicines would be very high, and the adoption of these medicines would depend upon the reimbursement given by the insurance companies.