J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2009 Jun;13(1):3-10.

Psychosis in Dementia

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Dongguk University International Hospital, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea. ciw@duih.org


Psychosis in patients with dementia contributes substantially to patient morbidity and caregiver distress. The concept of psychosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other types of dementia is developed with respect to prevalence, incidence, clinical characteristics, clinical course, and potential response to treatment. This article provides an overview of concept of psychosis in dementia. Published prevalence estimates of psychosis in patients with AD range from 10 to 73% within clinical populations. There is a continuing persistence of psychotic symptomatology among people with AD;most patients with psychosis continue to fulfill criteria for psychosis of dementia over at least 3 months, and over a half may have psychotic symptoms persist over a year. Among people with AD who have no psychotic symptoms there appears to be an annualized incidence of psychosis of about 20% in outpatients, and a much higher rate in nursing home patients. Frontal hypometabolism and greater frontal neuropsycological deficits occur in AD patients with psychosis in comparison to those without. There is some evidence that psychotic symptoms improve modestly with antipsychotic medication treatment, although optimal treatment guidelines have been elusive. The characteristics of psychosis in Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia were also reviewed. Conclusively, further research to support the validity of a syndrome of psychosis in various types of dementia, as well as AD is needed.


Alzheimer's disease; Psychosis; Dementia; Parkinson's disease; Lewy body dementia; Frontotemporal dementia
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