American Geriatrics Society releases guide to managing psychosis, behavioral issues

To aid clinicians in making treatment decisions for older adults, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has released a new online tool dedicated to the management of psychosis and behavioral problems associated with dementia.

The AGS “Guide to the Management of Psychotic Disorders and Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia in Older Adults” provides an overview of the risk factors, evaluation and management of bipolar affective disorder, major depression, schizophrenia and the behavioral aspects of dementia. It also summarizes research on increased mortality rates in the use of antipsychotic medications for symptoms associated with dementia.

A variety of medication tables address the treatment of schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like syndromes, depressive and manic-like features and behavioral disturbances in dementia, and the management of adverse events of antipsychotic medications. The guide also includes a flow chart to help clinicians evaluate a patient experiencing hallucinations and delusions. An outline of the guide’s major content includes:

management of psychotic disorders in older adults

management of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia

common neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia

Information in the guide is derived from two AGS publications: the 2010 edition of The Geriatrics Review Syllabus and 2011 edition of Geriatrics At Your Fingertips. The guide was reviewed by AGS geriatricians, geropsychiatrists and geriatrics pharmacists. A smartphone version, GeriPsych Consult, will also become available.

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