“A decline in cognitive functioning is caused by a group of conditions called dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.”

Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulty expressing thoughts, and becoming confused or disoriented. Some people with dementia may become aggressive at times and have trouble regulating their emotions.

Psychosis can also be a complication of dementia. Psychosis refers to the mental state where someone is not sure what’s real or not. It can include paranoid or delusional thoughts as well as hallucinations.

Understanding, patience, and a variety of different approaches are required for managing and treating dementia-related psychosis. We will discuss what researchers know about the symptom and how it can be addressed.

Approximately 5.8 million people in the United States have recevied a diagnosis of dementia. Researchers believe that number will double by 2060. A significant portion of people with dementia will likely experience psychosis at some point.

Rates of dementia-related psychosis depend on a number of issues.

  • There is a type of dementia.
  • Stage or severity of dementia.
  • Individual risk factors include other health conditions.

One 2021 study indicates 20 to 70 percent of people with dementia will experience psychosis as part of the condition.

Another study from 2020 suggests that 90 percent of people with dementia have some kind of behavioral and psychological symptoms, including psychosis, agitation, aggression, and Depression..

While psychosis can occur with any There is a type of dementia., some types of dementia have higher rates. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and dementia related to Parkinson’s disease.

As dementia progresses and other symptoms get more severe, psychosis may become more likely.

However, in some people, psychosis may be an early symptom of dementia. Hallucinations may occur during the early impairment stage. They could even develop before any other symptoms.

Psychosis symptoms often depend on the There is a type of dementia. a person has. Their overall health and complicating risk factors may also impact how symptoms develop. In short, each person’s experience will be different.

There are symptoms of dementia-related psychosis.

A person with dementia might hallucinate a cat or dog that is not in the room. Even if there is no evidence of this, they might have a delusion that their caretakers is stealing money or trying to harm them.

Some people with dementia can develop psychosis, but not others. There are a few possible causes.

In people with Alzheimer’s disease, atypical deposits on the brain may be related to psychosis. These can interfere with the brain’s signaling. People with Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to experience delusions.

Lewy body dementia is the result of plaque deposits or “Lewy bodies” on the brain. They impact the brain’s chemical messaging system. Visual hallucinations are a common symptom of psychosis in people with this There is a type of dementia..

Dementia related to Parkinson’s disease could be connected to medications. People with Parkinson’s disease often take dopamine-enhancing medications for some symptoms, including stiffness and walking issues. However, some of these medications may cause the onset of psychosis symptoms.

Many people with dementia-related psychosis are the result of ongoing changes to the brain.

There is no standard treatment for dementia-related psychosis. There is a complicated phenomenon called psychosis that does not have a simple cure.

Doctors may use caregivers to help the person with dementia understand what they are experiencing. Certain strategies can limit the potential for psychosis and prevent situations from getting out of control.

These strategies may include some.

  • Adjusting the environment. If someone with dementia has recurring symptoms of psychosis, it may help to eliminate any potential triggers for those experiences.
    • If they see other people in the room after seeing themselves in the mirror, cover the reflective surfaces.
    • Light can illuminate dark corners of the house.
    • The National Institute on Aging also suggests decluttering the home environment, making it easy to navigate, and labeling items to help make people with dementia feel more secure.
  • Adjusting your caregiving approach. Challenging someone’s delusions or hallucinations can make them angry, scared, and even aggressive. Instead of trying to tell someone that something is not real, caregivers may instead engage with their loved ones by asking questions. Try not to raise your voice or yell.
  • Keeping active. Leaving a person with dementia alone all day is not healthy. Instead, people with dementia should be active and engaged regularly. Plan walks, have loved ones visit, or work on simple tasks around the house.

Doctors may prescribe medication for dementia-related psychosis in more advanced cases.

Medications currently being studied and prescribed off-label for dementia-related psychosis include, among others:

  • The 5-HT-receptors are agonists.
  • Serotonin reuptake drugs are used.
  • Biceprazole, lumateperone, or pimavanserin are atypical antipsychotics.
  • Second generation of drugs.
  • It is a substance called lithium.
  • Anticonvulsants are anticonvulsants.
  • cannabinoids (THC and CBD, substances found in the cannabis plant)

The antipsychotic pimavanserin (brand name Nuplazid) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat psychosis in Parkinson’s disease.

Side effects are not without drugs. Some medications can increase the risk of death in people with dementia.

Psychosis vs. sundowning

Sundowning refers to a worsening of cognitive and behavioral dementia symptoms that happen later in the day. Sundowning does not necessarily include symptoms of psychosis, but it can be a factor.

Strategies for managing sundowning are similar to those for dementia-related psychosis.

Dementia-related psychosis can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms may be mistaken for other health conditions, such as anxiety and Depression.. People with dementia may conceal some of their symptoms and be hesitant to admit they’re seeing or hearing things others aren’t.

There are few effective medical treatments for people with memory related conditions. Some lifestyle adjustments and medications can help manage dementia-related psychosis.

Understanding that many people with dementia experience some symptoms of psychosis and learning how to recognize those signs may help affected people and caretakers prepare.

It encourages compassion and understanding as loved ones and medical professionals sort through the effects of psychosis and how it interacts with other symptoms of dementia.