Objectives: There is currently no meta-analysis of the efficacy and tolerability of Yokukansan in the treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
Method: We used information obtained from the PubMed and Cochrane Library databases until October 2012. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomized controlled trials comparing Yokukansan with usual care (UC, i.e., controls). Standardized mean difference and weighted mean difference were calculated. All studies used the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) for the evaluation of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
Results: Four relevant studies (total n = 236) were identified. Yokukansan was superior to UC in the reduction of total NPI scores (p = 0.0009, weighted mean difference = -7.20, I(2) = 0%). In addition, Yokukansan was more efficacious in reducing scores on the NPI subscale (delusions, hallucinations, and agitation/aggression) than UC (p < 0.00001-0.0009). Yokukansan treatment also improved activities of daily living scores compared with UC (p = 0.04, standardized mean difference = -0.32, I(2) = 0%). Mini-mental state examination scores did not differ between the Yokukansan and UC treatment groups. Yokukansan was not different from UC regarding discontinuation due to any cause.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that Yokukansan has a beneficial effect on NPI and on ADL scores and that Yokukansan seems to be a well-tolerated treatment.
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.