Drug Reduces Delusions in Dementia Patients

Dec. 5, 2019 -- A drug used to reduce delusions in Parkinson's disease patients does the same for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study shows.

Pimavanserin (Nuplazid) was approved in the United States for Parkinson's-related psychosis in 2016. It blocks a brain chemical that triggers delusions, the Associated Press reported.

The new study involving Alzheimer's patients was stopped early due to positive results. The findings were presented Wednesday at a conference in San Diego.

The drug eases hallucinations that can cause anxiety, aggression and physical and verbal abuse.

If U.S. regulators approve it, the drug would the first treatment specifically for dementia-related psychosis and the first new Alzheimer's medicine for in nearly two decades, the AP reported.

Research suggests that up to 30% of the 8 million Americans with dementia develop psychosis.

"This would be a very important advance," Dr. Howard Fillit, chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, told the AP.

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