Sleep problems in Alzheimer's disease: Does drug treatment help or harm?: COMMENTARY ON... COCHRANE CORNER
Smith K., Attenburrow MJ.
Drug treatments are commonly used for sleep disturbance in Alzheimer's disease, although none have a specific licence for this indication. This month's Cochrane review assessed the available evidence of benefit or harm in the use of these medications. The review identified two studies of melatonin, which did not show significant improvement in sleep over placebo. One study of trazodone suggested a beneficial effect on sleep, but its small sample size limits the generalisability of the results. Larger studies are needed, with careful assessment of the evidence for possible improvements in sleep but also of important sideeffects such as falls and increased confusion.