Current approaches to the pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Edwin CK Tan, Sarah N. Hilmer, Sara Garcia-Ptacek, J. Simon Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in older Australians. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article is to provide an overview of available pharmacological therapies for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease. DISCUSSION: Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) or memantine may be trialled in people with Alzheimer's disease to delay symptoms of cognitive and functional decline. The choice of pharmacological agent is based on the stage of Alzheimer's disease, tolerability, adverse effect profile, ease of use and cost. People should be monitored for efficacy, side effects and possible treatment discontinuation. Strategies should be used to optimise medication management and adherence. Evidence for other pharmacological therapies is mixed or lacking. Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are common in people with Alzheimer's disease and may respond to symptomatic pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-592
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018

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