Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors (AChEI's) for the treatment of visual hallucinations in schizophrenia: A case report

S. S. Patel, A. Attard, Pamela Jacobsen, S. Shergill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Visual hallucinations are commonly seen in various neurological and psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. Current models of visual processing and studies in diseases including Parkinsons Disease and Lewy Body Dementia propose that Acetylcholine (Ach) plays a pivotal role in our ability to accurately interpret visual stimuli. Depletion of Ach is thought to be associated with visual hallucination generation. AchEI's have been used in the targeted treatment of visual hallucinations in dementia and Parkinson's Disease patients. In Schizophrenia, it is thought that a similar Ach depletion leads to visual hallucinations and may provide a target for drug treatmentCASE PRESENTATION: We present a case of a patient with Schizophrenia presenting with treatment resistant and significantly distressing visual hallucinations. After optimising treatment for schizophrenia we used Rivastigmine, an AchEI, as an adjunct to treat her symptoms successfully.CONCLUSIONS: This case is the first to illustrate this novel use of an AchEI in the targeted treatment of visual hallucinations in a patient with Schizophrenia. Targeted therapy of this kind can be considered in challenging cases although more evidence is required in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Adult Antipsychotic Agents/therapeutic use Cholinesterase Inhibitors/*therapeutic use Drug Resistance Female Hallucinations/*drug therapy Humans Phenylcarbamates/*therapeutic use Schizophrenia/*drug therapy *Schizophrenic Psychology Treatment Outcome

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