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Psychotropic medication use and cognition in institutionalized older adults with mild to moderate dementia


Eggermont, Laura H.P., de Vries, Kerst, Scherder, Erik J.A.


International Psychogeriatrics / IPA, Volume: 21, No.: 2, Pages.: 286-294

Year of Publication



Background: Most studies examining psychotropic medication use on cognition in older persons with dementia include measures of global cognitive function. The present study examined the relationship between different types of psychotropic medication and specific cognitive functions in older people with dementia.; Methods: Two hundred and six institutionalized older adults with dementia (180 women, mean age 85 years) were administered neuropsychological tests. Psychotropic medication use was extracted from their medical status and categorized as: sedatives, antidepressants and antipsychotics.; Results: Analysis of covariance revealed that psychotropic consumers, and particularly those who used antipsychotics, performed worse on neuropsychological tests of executive/attentional functioning than non-consumers. There were no differences between consumers of other classes of psychotropic drugs and non-consumers. The number of psychotropic drugs used was inversely related to executive/attentional functioning.; Conclusions: These findings show that in institutionalized older adults with dementia, specific impairment of cognitive function, i.e. executive/attentional impairments, are associated with antipsychotic medication use. Future longitudinal studies are recommended.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Eggermont_2009, doi = {10.1017/s1041610209008552}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {feb}, publisher = {Cambridge University Press ({CUP})}, volume = {21}, number = {02}, pages = {286}, author = {Laura H. P. Eggermont and Kerst de Vries and Erik J. A. Scherder}, title = {Psychotropic medication use and cognition in institutionalized older adults with mild to moderate dementia}, journal = {{IPG}} }


adverse effects, aged, aged, 80 and over, antidepressants, antidepressive agents, antipsychotic agents, antipsychotics, attention, chemically induced, cognition disorders, comorbidity, dementia, diagnosis, drug effects, drug therapy, drug therapy combination, female, homes for the aged, humans, hypnotics and sedatives, institutionalization, male, memory, mental status schedule, netherlands, neuropsychological tests, nursing homes, psychology, psychotropic drugs, recognition psychology, sedatives, therapeutic use

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Cohort Study

Type of Outcomes



Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Antipsychotics and antidepressants, Other