Dr Suzanne Reeves
Rationalisation of antipsychotic drug use in older people, using [18F]-Fallypride PET
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
Dementia | antipsychotic drug susceptibility | brain imaging
Older people are extremely susceptible to the side effects of antipsychotic drugs, including falls, sedation, tremor and a greater risk of stroke. There is an urgent clinical need to understand why this is the case, to guide treatment strategies. This study aims to utilise brain imaging techniques that measure the action of antipsychotic drugs in the brain to explore mechanisms of heightened sensitivity in people with dementia and schizophrenia with onset in later life, and translate these findings into direct patient benefit. The first aim is to establish whether, for a given (low) dose of the commonly used antipsychotic drug amisulpride, a greater action at brain sites is seen in people with dementia compared to people with schizophrenia or healthy older people. The second aim is to investigate and compare the relationship between drug dosage, action at brain sites and clinical response (symptom reduction and side effect profile) during the first 8 weeks of amisulpride treatment in the 2 patient groups. Information obtained from these studies will be used to establish the smallest drug dosage and optimum dose range of drugs like amisulpride required to reduce symptoms without causing side effects, with the aim of informing and guiding dosage strategies.