Outpatient treatment of sleep disorders in Alzheimer patients
Sleep disorders are common in patients with Alzheimer dementia and affect the quality of life of patients and of their caregivers. Despite the rising number of studies in the area, almost all of them are about non-pharmacological treatment. Our objective was to review the literature concerning pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to treat sleep disorders of elderly patients with Alzheimer dementia in the ambulatory setting. The treatments revised consisted of sleep hygiene and/or use of intense light coupled or not with use of melatonin, cholinesterase inhibitors, antipsychotics, hypnotics or antidepressants. In addition to the non-pharmacological measures, there is evidence that the use of trazodone may aid the treatment of sleep disorders of older individuals with Alzheimer dementia. More studies are necessary to examine the non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments revised herein.