By Vimal Aga, MD, Board-certified Geriatric psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR
Do the same anti-dementia medications that are used for Alzheimer’s disease and mixed dementia work for other dementias as well?
*Dementia due to diffuse Lewy Body disease*
None of the anti-dementia medications are FDA-approved for the treatment of dementia due to diffuse Lewy Body disease.
Ironically, this is a type of dementia in which the cholinesterase inhibitors are most likely to be effective. Therefore, it is recommended that they should be prescribed for this condition.
Memantine may be effective in dementia due to diffuse Lewy Body disease and can be used as well.
Both classes of drugs should be avoided in all cases of frontotemporal dementia (except in a subtype called logopenic aphasia that is usually due to Alzheimer’s disease unless proven otherwise).
*Parkinson’s disease dementia*
Rivastigmine has an additional FDA-indication for mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease dementia.
However, there is no reason to believe that the other cholinesterase inhibitors are not similarly effective.
Memantine may not be particularly effective in Parkinson’s disease dementia, but could nevertheless be tried.
*Mild cognitive impairment*
Sorry. None of these medications are FDA-approved for treating mild cognitive impairment (MCI).