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Dementia with Lewy bodies. Review of diagnosis and pharmacologic management.

AbstractOBJECTIVE:
To review clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and to guide family physicians in pharmacologic management, including medications to avoid. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE A MEDLINE: search of literature from 1995 to 2002 used the MeSH terms dementia with Lewy bodies/diagnosis, dementia with Lewy bodies/therapy, and antipsychotics/dementia with Lewy bodies. Level II and III evidence was available for diagnosis and treatment of DLB. One randomized controlled trial of rivastigmine was reviewed and appraised.
MAIN MESSAGE:
Dementia with Lewy bodies is common. Diagnosis can be made by family physicians using clinical criteria including presence of dementia with marked fluctuation in performance, hallucinations, and the onset of parkinsonism. Cholinesterase inhibitors should be considered for neuropsychiatric symptoms. Levodopa-carbidopa combinations should be considered for treatment of parkinsonism. Neuroleptics should be used with caution because of the risk of serious sensitivity reactions. If they are needed, atypical agents could be safer.
CONCLUSION:
Recognition and diagnosis of DLB is important to optimize pharmacologic management and to minimize risk of adverse reactions to neuroleptics.
AuthorsChristopher Frank
JournalCanadian family physician Médecin de famille canadien (Can Fam Physician) Vol. 49 Pg. 1304-11 (Oct 2003) ISSN: 0008-350X [Print] Canada
PMID14594099 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Topics
  • Antiparkinson Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Antipsychotic Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors (therapeutic use)
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease (diagnosis, drug therapy)

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