Background: Most clinicians perceive psychosis in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) as more difficult to treat than Parkinson's disease, yet there are no reports comparing the antipsychotic response between the 2 disorders.
Method: All charts of Parkinson's disease and DLB patients at our Movement Disorders Center, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket, given quetiapine for psychosis were reviewed. Demographic data, including type and severity of psychosis, before and after Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)-motor scores, motor worsening, and treatment response (recorded as poor/none, partial, or total), were obtained. The chi-square test was used to assess differences in efficacy and tolerability of quetiapine between Parkinson's disease and DLB patients.
Results: Eighty-seven Parkinson's disease and 11 DLB patients with psychosis were analyzed. No significant difference in mean age, levodopa dose, quetiapine dose, duration of quetiapine use, or baseline UPDRS-motor score was noted between Parkinson's disease and DLB patients. Eighty percent (70/87) of Parkinson's disease patients and 90% (10/11) of DLB patients had partial to complete resolution of psychosis using quetiapine (p = .40). Motor worsening was noted at one point in 32% (28/87) of Parkinson's disease and 27% (3/11) of DLB patients over the duration of quetiapine use (p = .74).
Conclusion: Long-term quetiapine use was generally well tolerated in this geriatric Parkinson's disease and DLB population. Mild motor worsening occurred in some patients. No significant difference in long-term efficacy and motor worsening associated with quetiapine treatment was noted between the 2 disorders.