Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for nighttime agitation in severe dementia

Walther, Sebastian; Mahlberg, Richard; Eichmann, Uta; Kunz, Dieter (2006). Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for nighttime agitation in severe dementia. Psychopharmacology, 185(4), pp. 524-8. Berlin: Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00213-006-0343-1

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RATIONALE: Nighttime agitation occurs frequently in patients with dementia and represents the number one burden on caregivers today. Current treatment options are few and limited due to substantial side effects. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to measure the effect of the cannabinoid dronabinol on nocturnal motor activity. METHODS: In an open-label pilot study, six consecutive patients in the late stages of dementia and suffering from circadian and behavioral disturbances-five patients with Alzheimer's disease and one patient with vascular dementia-were treated with 2.5 mg dronabinol daily for 2 weeks. Motor activity was measured objectively using actigraphy. RESULTS: Compared to baseline, dronabinol led to a reduction in nocturnal motor activity (P=0.028). These findings were corroborated by improvements in Neuropsychiatric Inventory total score (P=0.027) as well as in subscores for agitation, aberrant motor, and nighttime behaviors (P<0.05). No side effects were observed. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that dronabinol was able to reduce nocturnal motor activity and agitation in severely demented patients. Thus, it appears that dronabinol may be a safe new treatment option for behavioral and circadian disturbances in dementia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Management

UniBE Contributor:

Walther, Sebastian

ISSN:

0033-3158

ISBN:

16521031

Publisher:

Springer-Verlag

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:51

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2018 13:14

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00213-006-0343-1

PubMed ID:

16521031

Web of Science ID:

000236497900014

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.21536

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/21536 (FactScience: 7350)

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