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August 1989

A Pilot Study of Haloperidol Treatment of Psychosis and Behavioral Disturbance in Alzheimer's Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Memory Disorders Clinic, Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Devanand, Sackeim, and Brown) and Neurology (Dr Mayeux), College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University and the Department of Biological Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute (Drs Devanand, Sackeim, Brown, and Mayeux), New York, NY.

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(8):854-857. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520440036018

• Nine outpatients meeting research criteria for probable Alzheimer's disease who had psychosis or behavioral disturbance participated in a single-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Oral haloperidol in doses of 1 to 5 mg daily improved target symptoms, confirmed by doubleblind ratings of videotaped interviews. Patients could not be maintained on more than 4 mg of haloperidol daily due to the severity of extrapyramidal side effects. Modified Mini-Mental State scores worsened while taking haloperidol, with only partial recovery in the final 4-week placebo phase. Severe extrapyramidal side effects and decline in cognitive function may compromise the efficacy of commonly used doses of neuroleptic drugs in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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