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Frontotemporal Dementia: A Randomised, Controlled Trial with Trazodone

Lebert F.a · Stekke W.b · Hasenbroekx C.c · Pasquier F.a
aMemory Clinic, Lille University Hospital, Lille, France; bPharmacia Laboratory, Diegem, cDepartment of Neurology, Heilig Hart Ziekenhuis, Roeselare, Belgium Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2004;17:355–359 (DOI:10.1159/000077171)

Abstract

Behavioural troubles due to frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are difficult to treat. The serotonergic system is associated with frontal lobes, the degeneration of which contributes to FTD. Trazodone increases the extracellular 5-HT levels in the frontal cortex. In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study, we investigated the effect of trazodone. There was a significant decrease in the Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI) total score with trazodone (p = 0.028) in the 26 evaluable patients. A decrease of more than 50% in the NPI score was observed in 10 patients with trazodone. This improvement was mainly based on the improvement of 4 items of the scale (irritability, agitation, depressive symptoms and eating disorders). The Mini-Mental State Examination was not modified and trazodone was well tolerated. Results of this first placebo-controlled trial suggest that trazodone is an effective treatment for the behavioural symptoms of FTD.

 

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