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02 April 2014 - Just published: comparison of antipsychotics in rat models of BPSD

Although dementia has high prevalence among the elderly, few drugs are available to treat the Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) that often accompany it. Indeed, BPSD is a major cause of patient hospitalization and of distress for patients ant their carers. In addition, the aging populations in western countries means that the number of dementia patients is increasing rapidly. Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat BPSD but are only partially efficacious: they control psychosis but do not attenuate mood deficits, may interfere with cognitive function and are associated with motor and cardiac side-effects which are problematic in elderly patients.

The present publication characterises the pharmacological activity of 8 antipsychotics, including older neuroleptics and 'atypical' antipsychotics in rat models of psychosis, depression, cognitive impairment, spontaneous locomotion and catalepsy. The resulting extensive comparative database shows that the drugs show little or no separation between their antipsychotic-like effects and their induction of side effects such as catalepsy or memory interference. This study highlights the need for novel drugs that are more effective and safer for use in elderly patients - a recent drug candidate with a promising profile (ADN-1184) has recently been reported.


Adrian Newman-Tancredi has extensive experience of drug discovery of novel antidepressants and antipsychotics. For more information, Contact.


Antipsychotic, antidepressant, and cognitive-impairment properties of antipsychotics: rat profile and implications for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
Kołaczkowski M, Mierzejewski P, Bienkowski P, Wesołowska A, Newman-Tancredi A.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2014 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]