Web Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for nighttime agitation in severe dementia

By June 10th, 2019 Dementia

Authors:

Sebastian Walther, Richard Mahlberg, Uta Eichmann, Dieter Kunz


Published in Psychopharmacology

May 2006

 

Abstract

RATIONALE:
Nighttime agitation occurs frequently in patients with dementia and represents the number one burden on caregivers today. Current treatment options are few and limited due to substantial side effects.

OBJECTIVES:
The aim of the study was to measure the effect of the cannabinoid dronabinol on nocturnal motor activity.

METHODS:
In an open-label pilot study, six consecutive patients in the late stages of dementia and suffering from circadian and behavioral disturbances-five patients with Alzheimer’s disease and one patient with vascular dementia-were treated with 2.5 mg dronabinol daily for 2 weeks. Motor activity was measured objectively using actigraphy.

RESULTS:
Compared to baseline, dronabinol led to a reduction in nocturnal motor activity (P=0.028). These findings were corroborated by improvements in Neuropsychiatric Inventory total score (P=0.027) as well as in subscores for agitation, aberrant motor, and nighttime behaviors (P<0.05). No side effects were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:
The study suggests that dronabinol was able to reduce nocturnal motor activity and agitation in severely demented patients. Thus, it appears that dronabinol may be a safe new treatment option for behavioral and circadian disturbances in dementia.

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-006-0343-1

FULL TEXT

Citation:

Walther S, Mahlberg R, Eichmann U, Kunz D. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for nighttime agitation in severe dementia. Psychopharmacology. 2006;185(4):524-528. doi:10.1007/s00213-006-0343-1.