A study published today (01 November) in the Lancet reports on Pimavanserin as a potential new drug for the treatment of psychological symptoms.
Such psychological symptoms include hallucinations and delusions, in people with Parkinson's disease and people with associated cognitive decline. Due to its effectiveness in people with Parkinson's and cognitive decline, the drug may also be effective for treating these symptoms in Alzheimer's disease, and a study is now planned to explore this.
The symptoms can be distressing for the person and the people caring for them, and are often very difficult to manage. Also, thesy are often treated with antipsychotic drugs, which can have serious side effects including stroke and death.
The results from this study show that Pimavanserin significantly improves symptoms of psychosis without worsening any other symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and has a much better safety profile than existing antipsychotics.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'It's exciting to see that this safer drug may prevent the symptoms of psychosis in people with Parkinson's, whilst potentially benefitting people with dementia who struggle with these symptoms.
'Currently there are limited treatment options for the management of psychosis in people with dementia. We need to see more research into this promising drug to see if it might also work for people with the condition.'
Dr James Pickett
Head of Research