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Pharmacological Management of Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms in Older Adults with Intellectual Disability

Eady, N; Courtenay, K; Strydom, A; (2015) Pharmacological Management of Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms in Older Adults with Intellectual Disability. Drugs & Aging , 32 (2) pp. 95-102. 10.1007/s40266-014-0236-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Given medical and social advances, the life expectancy of individuals with intellectual disability (ID) has increased dramatically, leading to a generation of older individuals with such disabilities. This review focuses on the pharmacological treatment of behavioral and psychiatric symptoms and disorders in older adults with ID. Older adults with ID often present with medical co-morbidities and mental health issues. Medication management of behavioral and psychiatric problems is complicated by a higher risk for adverse events, lack of decision-making capacity, and complex care networks. Some studies have shown that individuals with ID and co-morbid mental disorders are undertreated in comparison with those with similar disorders in the general population, resulting in poorer outcomes. However, older adults with ID are also at risk of polypharmacy, and older age is a risk factor for development of side effects. A general principle is that medication treatment for psychiatric disorders in older individuals with ID should be started at low dosages and increased cautiously while monitoring response and side effects. The use of psychotropic drugs for older individuals with ID and behavioral problems remains controversial, particularly in those with dementia.

Type: Article
Title: Pharmacological Management of Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms in Older Adults with Intellectual Disability
Location: New Zealand
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s40266-014-0236-7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40266-014-0236-7
Language: English
Additional information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40266-014-0236-7
Keywords: Aged, Comorbidity, Dementia, Humans, Intellectual Disability, Polypharmacy, Psychotropic Drugs, Risk Factors
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464059
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