Treatment of Late-Life Psychosis

Victoria Chima, Nwayieze Ndukwe, Camille Mendez Maldonado, Priya Sharma, Melinda S. Lantz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review: Psychosis in late life is a cause of significant distress, suffering, and decline in the quality of life for patients, caregivers, and family members. While psychotic symptoms in later life may be related to long-standing, chronic conditions, the new onset of delusions and hallucinations often presents a diagnostic dilemma to the clinician. This paper seeks to review the overall causes and conditions related to psychosis in later life and discuss available treatment options. Recent findings: The paucity of new research in the areas of psychosis in late-life and the near absences of clinical drug trials in this area is a source of great frustration to the practicing clinician. The need to abstract and modify drug dosing and treatment regimes for frail, elderly patients based on available data is typically required. The minimal availability of psychotherapy research in the area of psychosis in late life is troubling. Summary: Antipsychotic medications may be safely and effectively utilized for the treatment of psychosis in late life. Side effect monitoring is vital, and agents for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia may be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-227
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Delusional disorder
  • Dementia
  • Psychosis: late life
  • Schizophrenia


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