What Are the Risk Factors for Dementia-Related Psychosis?
Is there anything that makes one person more likely to develop this condition than another?
Stress and certain behavioral issues may raise the likelihood of developing dementia-related psychosis, says George Grossberg, M.D., professor and director of geriatric psychiatry at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri, but it can vary based on what type of dementia a person has.
I think the notion of risk factors for dementia-related psychosis, a lot of it is going to depend on the type of dementia one has. If you have, for example, the Lewy body dementia or the Parkinson's disease dementia, your risks overall are going to be much higher. There are other factors as well that may play a role and we'll touch on these perhaps later.
The notion of stress or overwhelming stress being a risk factor, because it may trigger or may precipitate psychotic symptoms against the background of dementia, I think also needs to be kept in mind. There is some evidence that individuals who even early in the course of their dementia begin to have a lot of behavioral kind of issues, irritability, things like that, that maybe later they might be at greater risk for dementia-related psychosis or delusions and hallucinations. We need to do more work on identifying other risk factors.