Rivastigmine in the treatment of dementia with Lewy bodies: preliminary findings from an open trial

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2000 May;15(5):387-92. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1166(200005)15:5<387::aid-gps131>3.0.co;2-9.


The objective of this study was to assess the tolerability and efficacy of rivastigmine in a group of patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), using an open label study. Open label treatment was with rivastigmine up to maximum tolerated dose (mean 9.6 mg daily, range 3-12 mg). Eleven patients with DLB, mean age 78.5 years, were treated with this cholinesterase inhibitor. After 12 weeks of treatment, mean Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores fell by 73% for delusions, 63% for apathy, 45% for agitation and 27% for hallucinations. Five of the patients (45%) experienced very significant clinical improvements that had not been achieved with other treatments, including low dose neuroleptics. Medication was well tolerated and parkinsonian symptoms tended to improve. Cholinesterase inhibition may be a safe and effective alternative to neuroleptic treatment in DLB. Such effects may also prove to be applicable to the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carbamates / therapeutic use*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Phenylcarbamates*
  • Rivastigmine
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Carbamates
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Phenylcarbamates
  • Rivastigmine