Donepezil improves symptoms of delirium in dementia

Implications for future research

Steven Phillip Wengel, William H. Eoccaforte, William J. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Delirium is a common complication of dementia and may produce considerable morbidity. In addition to psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, delirium may produce considerable agitation, which may be refractory to conventional medications such as antipsychotics and benzodiazepines. The main approach to delirium is to treat any underlying medical problem that could cause the delirium. However, delirium is not always reversible, and there is no specific treatment for persistent delirium. The authors present a case of delirium complicating a preexisting dementia that resolved rapidly following initiation of the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil, suggesting that cholinergic dysfunction may have played a role in the etiology of this patient's delirium. Future research needs to be directed at the issue of cholinergic activity in delirium through monitoring of serum anticholinergic activity and its response to procholinergic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-161
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

Fingerprint

Delirium
Dementia
Cholinergic Agents
donepezil
Delusions
Hallucinations
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Cholinergic Antagonists
Benzodiazepines
Antipsychotic Agents
Morbidity
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Donepezil improves symptoms of delirium in dementia : Implications for future research. / Wengel, Steven Phillip; Eoccaforte, William H.; Burke, William J.

In: Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, Vol. 11, No. 3, 01.01.1998, p. 159-161.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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