Clinical issues in current drug therapy for dementia

Hans Förstl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Dementia resulting from Alzheimer disease is one of the most prevalent medical problems. Elaborate expert guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease do not always take sufficient account of the resources available in general practice. The focus on pure Alzheimer disease can be inappropriate for the large proportion of mixed dementia cases in old age. Because of such guidelines, treatment with modern and effective drugs is often delayed until conservative dementia criteria are satisfied. Criteria for the discontinuation of antidementia drugs are highly questionable. Antidementia drug sales in Germany demonstrate that the majority of prescribers hold on to conservative attitudes and prefer Ginkgo biloba and memantine to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Disappointment after exaggerated expectations and financial restrictions in the health care sector may aggravate current underprescribing of antidementia drugs. Even though contemporary symptomatic treatments for Alzheimer disease are unsatisfactory, modem medicine has been very successful in the early diagnosis and treatment of other potential causes of dementia. Future strategies will include models for the early identification of individuals carrying a high risk of developing cognitive impairment during their lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S103-S108
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Drug treatment
  • Guidelines


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