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Escitalopram Treatment for BPSD in Alzheimer's Disease in Comparison to Risperidone

Information source: Abarbanel Mental Health Center
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Agitation; Psychosis; Alzheimer's Disease

Intervention: Escitalopram (Drug); Risperidone (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Abarbanel Mental Health Center

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Yoram Barak, MD, MHA, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Abarbanel MHC, Israel.

Summary

Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are among the most distressing manifestations of dementia. Pharmacotherapy is frequently used and especially in institutional settings. Current guidelines recommend the use of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs). Nonetheless, there are concerns regarding both their safety and effectiveness in patients with dementia. Inconclusive evidence support the use of other psychoactive agents such as SSRI antidepressants or cognitive enhancers. In two published studies citalopram was as efficacious as, but better tolerated than perphenazine or risperidone in patients with BPSD. Thus, with proven efficacy and a beneficial safety profile the evaluation of the use of escitalopram for BPSD is warranted.

Clinical Details

Official title: Post Marketing Study of Escitalopram Versus Risperidone for the Treatment of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms Amongst Alzheimer's Disease Patients

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Change in total score on the NPI.

Secondary outcome: Time from initial treatment to the discontinuation of treatment for any reason.

Detailed description: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) as agitation or psychosis are among the most distressing manifestations of dementia. The evidence-based management of these symptoms includes the search for treatable physical and environmental precipitants, support and psychoeducation for primary caregivers and psychosocial interventions. Nevertheless, pharmacotherapy is frequently used and especially in institutional settings. Current guidelines recommend the use of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs). Nonetheless, there are concerns regarding both their safety and effectiveness in patients with dementia. Recent research has resulted in a 'black-box" warning concerning the safety of using SGAs for BPSD. Sparse and inconclusive evidence support the use of other psychoactive agents such as SSRI antidepressants or cognitive enhancers. In two published randomized controlled trials, citalopram was more efficacious than placebo and as efficacious as, but better tolerated than perphenazine or risperidone in patients with dementia hospitalized for the treatment of agitation or psychosis. Thus, with proven efficacy and a beneficial safety profile the evaluation of the use of escitalopram for BPSD is warranted. A 6-week parallel groups, randomized, controlled trial in patients with dementia hospitalized because of behavioral symptoms will be conducted at the Abarbanel MHC. Participants will be consecutively recruited on an inpatient unit. Randomization will be based on a table of random numbers held centrally by an uninvolved physician. The study will be of a "double-blind" design. All medications in identical packaging will be distributed to the ward from a central pharmacy.

Eligibility

Minimum age: 55 Years. Maximum age: 95 Years. Gender(s): Both.

Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria: Eligible participants will fulfill criteria for dementia of the Alzheimer's type (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition). The score on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) has to be between 5 and 26. Eligible patients will suffer from delusions, hallucinations, aggression, or agitation that developed after the onset of dementia and is severe enough to disrupt their functioning and, in the opinion of the study physicians, to justify treatment with antipsychotic drugs. Signs and symptoms of psychosis, aggression, or agitation will have to occur nearly daily during the week prior to enrollment. A frequency rating of "often" or "more frequently" and a severity rating of at least "moderate" are required for delusions, hallucinations, agitation, or "aberrant motor behavior" in the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Exclusion Criteria: Patients will be excluded if they had received a diagnosis of a primary psychotic disorder (e. g., schizophrenia), delirium, other dementia. Patients will also be excluded if they were going to receive treatment with a cholinesterase inhibitor or antidepressant medication, had previously been treated with escitalopram for BPSD, or had contraindications to the two study drugs.

Locations and Contacts

Abarbanel MHC, Bat-Yam 59100, Israel
Additional Information

Related publications:

Pollock BG, Mulsant BH, Rosen J, Mazumdar S, Blakesley RE, Houck PR, Huber KA. A double-blind comparison of citalopram and risperidone for the treatment of behavioral and psychotic symptoms associated with dementia. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Nov;15(11):942-52. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

Starting date: April 2008
Last updated: June 23, 2015

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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