Symptoms and treatment for dementia in the community

The majority of people with dementia who are living in the community have hyperactivity (75%) and mood disorder or apathy (72%), most often manifesting as aberrant motor behaviour (28%), agitation/aggression (24%) and apathy/indifference (22%), a survey of patients and their carers in the Netherlands has shown (Family Practice 2018. First published 4 December. https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmy117). In this group of 117 people, mean age was 79 years and 52% were women; mean Mini-Mental State Examination total score was 19.5 and mean Neuropsychiatric Inventory total score was 15.7.

A systematic review by researchers in Hull of 26 studies of tools for evaluating inappropriate prescribing for older people with dementia found that the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing ranged from 14% to 74% and most often involved the use of benzodiazepines, hypnotics and anticholinergic drugs. However, the assessment tools were inconsistently applied, casting doubt on the validity of their findings (Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2019; First published January 4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-018-02612-x).

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