Need to Recalibrate Research Outcomes in Alzheimer's Disease: Focus on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms

Marco Canevelli, Matteo Cesari, Flaminia Lucchini, Martina Valletta, Michele Sabino, Eleonora Lacorte, Nicola Vanacore, Giuseppe Bruno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To determine whether neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs) are adequately considered in clinical research on Alzheimer's disease (AD). Design: Systematic review. Setting: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) recruiting individuals with AD and published during the last 10 years in 16 major general medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and geriatric psychiatry journals and RCTs registered on and currently enrolling individuals with AD. Participants: Individuals with AD. Measurements: Outcome measures adopted by the included studies. Results: Only 21.4% of the included studies identified through the bibliographic searches had measures of NPSs as a primary outcome. Only 17.7% of the studies retrieved on made a specific effort to test the effect of pharmacological or nonpharmacological interventions on NPSs. Conclusion: These findings show how rarely previous and current research on AD has considered NPSs as primary research targets. Although these symptoms are widely recognized as the most-stressful and -challenging manifestations of dementia, they are addressed much less often than other research targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2071-2073
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2017


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • clinical research
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • randomized controlled trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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