Feb 28, 2014 – Agitation and Alzheimer’s
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Health newsfeed for Friday, February 28, 2014
ANCHOR LEAD: AN ANTIDEPRESSANT MAY HELP AGITATION IN PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Agitation is a common problem among those with Alzheimer’s disease, sometimes leading to combative and difficult behavior. Attempts to manage agitation have involved use of a class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics. Now a trial known by the acronym ‘CITAD’ has shown that an antidepressant called citalopram may help, but Constantine Lyketsos, lead investigator and an Alzheimer’s expert at Johns Hopkins, says heart function may be affected.
LYKETSOS: In CITAD we were very careful. If someone is going to start a patient up to that dose of 30 mg they really need to make sure with an initial EKG that the QTC is normal. We had some people who wanted to enroll in CITAD who had an abnormal EKG we did not enroll them, and then to monitor them with dosage adjustments to make sure it doesn’t prolong and make decisions accordingly, so it doesn’t mean don’t use it. Our next study will hopefully ask the question of whether a 20 mg dose might still get a response. :30
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.