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Hallucinations | What's Happening in the Brain

Delusions and hallucinations occur in many illnesses other than Alzheimer's disease . They reflect the relative imbalance of brain chemicals . In particular, there is relatively too much dopamine in the brain. Drugs that are used to treat delusions and hallucinations, block the activity of dopamine, and are known as neuroleptics. Dopamine occurs in many parts of the brain, and is important in the control of movement. Some neuroleptics, especially the earlier ones, tended to block dopamine in many parts of the brain, and not just in the areas giving rise to delusions and hallucinations. This is how they caused side effects, such as slow movement, as is seen with Parkinsonism .

The treatment of hallucinations in dementia can be complicated, with much of the evidence for treatment effects being disputed. For example, there is a concern that some of the newer agents, while effective, also can increase the risk of stroke and related illnesses. On the other hand, the alternative is often to use older drugs that have been less thoroughly evaluated than the newer ones. Issues about treatment are discussed in the chapter on "Psychotropic agents in Alzheimer disease" by David M. Blass, and Peter V. Rabins in the book Trial Designs and Outcomes in Dementia Therapeutic Research, published in London by Taylor & Francis, 2005, and edited by Kenneth Rockwood and Serge Gauthier.

See Also:
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Adverse Drug Reactions
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Agnosia
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Comprehension/ Understanding
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Sensory Input
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Delusions and Paranoia
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Dementia with Lewy Bodies
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Delirium
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Last updated January 9, 2019
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