Objective: The authors examined research on effects, costs, and patient and caregiver views of pharmacological management strategies for Lewy body dementia.
Method: Studies were identified through bibliographic databases, trials registers, gray literature, reference lists, and experts. The authors used the search terms "Lewy or parkinson" and "dementia" through March 2015 and used the following inclusion criteria: participants with diagnoses of Lewy body dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, or Parkinson's disease dementia (or participants' caregivers); investigation of pharmacological management strategies; outcome measures and test scores reported. Data extraction and quality assessment were conducted by at least two authors. Meta-analyses were conducted, and when studies could not be combined, summaries were provided.
Results: Forty-four studies examining 22 strategies were included in the review. Meta-analysis indicated beneficial effects of donepezil and rivastigmine for cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Rivastigmine, but not donepezil, was associated with greater risk of adverse events. Meta-analysis of memantine suggested that it is well tolerated but with few benefits. Descriptive summaries provide some evidence of benefits for galantamine, modafinil, levodopa, rotigotine, clozapine, duloxetine, clonazepam, ramelteon, gabapentin, zonisamide, and yokukansan. Piracetam, amantadine, selegiline, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, and citalopram do not appear to be effective.
Conclusions: High-level evidence related to pharmacological strategies for managing Lewy body dementia is rare. Strategies for important areas of need in Lewy body dementia, such as autonomic symptoms and caregiver burden, have not been investigated, nor have the views of patients and caregivers about pharmacological strategies.