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Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms in Patients With Dementia as a Target for Pharmacotherapy With Risperidone

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65:1329-1334

Objective: To examine the effect of risperidone on specific behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

Method: We conducted a post hoc exploratory analysis of an integrated database from 3 randomized, controlled trials of risperidone versus placebo in treating 1150 nursing home residents with BPSD. Changes in scores were measured for items on the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) and Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD).

Results: On the CMAI, risperidone was significantly more effective in treating hitting (p = .000), hurt self or other (p = .005), cursing or verbal aggression (p = .000), repetitive sentences or questions (p = .001), scratching (p = .041), general restlessness (p = .001), grabbing onto people (p = .028), constant request for attention (p = .041), pacing and aimless wandering (p = .013), and performing repetitious mannerisms (p = .045). On the BEHAVE-AD, risperidone was significantly more effective in treating physical threats and/or violence (p = .000), verbal outbursts (p = .000), other anxieties (p = .01), agitation (p = .000), tearfulness (p = .03), and nonparanoid delusions (p = .02).

Conclusions: The items from the BEHAVE-AD and CMAI that were improved with risperidone included psychotic, agitated, and aggressive symptoms. These data suggest that risperidone is more effective than placebo in treating a variety of symptoms associated with dementia.