From The Associated Press: For More Info, Go Here…
A drug that curbs delusions in Parkinson’s patients did the same for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in a clinical trial that was stopped early because the benefit seemed clear.
If regulators agree, the drug could become the first offered specifically for treating dementia-related psychosis. It would also be the first new medicine for Alzheimer’s in nearly two decades.
The daily pill targets some of the most troubling symptoms that patients and caregivers face — hallucinations that often lead to anxiety, aggression, and physical and verbal abuse.
Trial results were disclosed this week at an Alzheimer’s conference in San Diego.
The drug, pimavanserin, is sold as Nuplazid by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. It was approved for Parkinson’s-related psychosis in 2016 and is thought to work by blocking a brain chemical that seems to spur delusions.
Independent monitors stopped the study when they saw that those on dummy pills were more than twice as likely as those on the drug to relapse or worsen — 28% versus nearly 13%.
There were relatively few serious side effects — 5% in the drug group and 4% in the others. Headaches and urinary tract infections were more common among those on the drug. Two deaths occurred, but study leaders said neither was related to the drug.
Current anti-psychotic medicines have some major drawbacks and are not approved for dementia patients.
“They’re often used off-label because we have very few other options,” Fillit said.
All carry warnings that they can raise the risk of death in elderly patients, as does Nuplazid.