Researchers Find Drug Can Reduce Delusions in Persons with Dementia

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Researchers have found that a drug that curbs delusions in people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease did the same for persons living with dementia, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Researchers stopped the new study early because the benefits of the drug seemed clear, and announced trial results on December 4. If approved by regulators, it could become the first treatment specifically for dementia. Studies suggest that up to 30% of persons living with dementia develop psychosis. The drug, a daily pill sold as Nuplazid by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., targets hallucinations, which can often lead to anxiety, aggression, and physical and verbal abuse. It was approved for Parkinson’s-related psychosis in 2016 and is believed to work by blocking a brain chemical that seems to spur delusions.

The article features multiple experts in the dementia field, including Dr. Howard Fillit, the chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). AFTD works in partnership with ADDF to advance and support drug discovery for FTD.

It is not known whether the federal Food and Drug Administration would require more evidence to approve a new use of the drug for other types of dementia.

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