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The neurochemistry of agitation in Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review

Liu, KY; Stringer, AE; Reeves, SJ; Howard, RJ; (2018) The neurochemistry of agitation in Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review. Ageing Research Reviews , 43 pp. 99-107. 10.1016/j.arr.2018.03.003. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To provide an up-to-date systematic review of the characteristics, methodology and findings of studies that have investigated the neurochemistry of agitation in Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS: Electronic databases were searched for published peer-reviewed articles which provided data on any neurotransmitter system in relation to agitation in AD. Screening of titles and abstracts and data extraction from full texts were conducted in duplicate. RESULTS: Forty-five studies were included. Monoamines (serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline) were most commonly investigated. A variety of methods were used to investigate the neurochemistry underlying agitation in AD and, although there were several conflicting findings, there was evidence of serotonergic deficit, relatively preserved dopaminergic function and compensatory overactivity of postsynaptic noradrenergic neurons in agitation in AD. CONCLUSIONS: Disruption of the dynamic balance between multiple neurotransmitter systems could impair functional neural networks involved in affective regulation and executive function. Differences in study design and methodology may have contributed to conflicting findings. Future studies that overcome these limitations (e.g. using standardized criteria to define agitation) and employ neuroimaging methods such as MRI/PET to investigate specific neural networks are needed to clarify the role of neurotransmitter alterations in these patients.

Type: Article
Title: The neurochemistry of agitation in Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2018.03.003
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2018.03.003
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Agitation, Alzheimer’s disease, Monoamines, Neurotransmitters
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry > Mental Health of Older People
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045732
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