February 12, 2014

DynaMed EBM Journal Volume 9, Issue 7

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Physicians: .25 AMA PRA Category ICreditsTM

Family Physicians: .25 Prescribed credits

Nurse Practitioners: .25 Contact hours

Release Date: February 12, 2014

Expiration Date: February 12, 2015

Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

There is no fee for this activity.

To Receive Credit

In order to receive your certificate of participation, you should read the information about this activity, including the disclosure statements, review the entire activity, take the post-test, and complete the evaluation form. You may then follow the directions to print your certificate of participation. To begin, click the CME icon at the end of the article.

Program Overview

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this educational program, the reader should be able to:
1. Discuss the significance of this article as it relates to your clinical practice.
2. Be able to apply this knowledge to your patient's diagnosis, treatment and management.

Faculty Information

Alan Ehrlich, MD - Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA; Senior Deputy Editor, DynaMed, Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA

Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP - Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Comprehensive Care, LSU Health Science Center School of Medicine, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA; Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Chief Medical Officer, Amedisys, Inc. & Antidote Education Company


Dr. Ehrlich, Dr. Fleming, DynaMed Editorial Team members, and the staff of Antidote Education Company have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationships or conflicts of interest with commercial interests related directly or indirectly to this educational activity.

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Accreditation Statements

ACCME: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of Antidote EducationCompany and EBSCO Publishing. Antidote is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Antidote Education Company designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AAFP: Enduring Material activity, DynaMed EBM Focus, has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 13 Prescribed credits by the American Academy of Family Physicians. AAFP certification begins March 7, 2012. Term of approval is for one year from this date with the option of yearly renewal. Each EBM Focus is worth .25 Prescribed credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AANP: This program is approved for 0.25 contact hour of continuing education by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Program ID: 1304159O


Last week 515 journal articles were evaluated via DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance and summaries of 252 articles were added to DynaMed content.

Based on criteria for selecting "articles most likely to change clinical practice," one article was selected by the DynaMed Editorial Team.

Pimavanserin May Reduce Symptoms of Parkinson Disease Psychosis Without Increasing Risk of Motor Function Impairment
Reference: Lancet 2014 Feb 8;383(9916):523 (level 2 [mid-level] evidence)

Many patients with Parkinson disease will develop psychosis, but there are few options available to manage these symptoms. The American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria recommends avoiding all antipsychotics except quetiapine and clozapine in patients with Parkinson disease, due to an increased risk of worsening Parkinsonian symptoms (J Am Geriatr Soc 2012 Apr;60(4):616 full-text). In addition, clinical evidence from large studies showing efficacy for reducing psychosis without increased risk of serious adverse events has been lacking. A recent randomized trial compared the new antipsychotic pimavanserin to placebo in patients with Parkinson disease psychosis.

A total of 199 patients ≥ 40 years old with Parkinson disease psychosis were randomized to pimavanserin 40 mg orally once daily vs. placebo for 6 weeks. Pimavanserin is a selective serotonin 5-HT2A inverse agonist without dopaminergic, adrenergic, histaminergic, or muscarinic affinity. All patients had idiopathic Parkinson disease for at least 1 year with no delirium, and had psychotic symptoms for at least 1 month and occurring at least weekly in the month before screening. Psychosis symptoms were assessed using the Parkinson disease-adapted scale for assessment of positive symptoms (SAPS-PD), consisting of a global assessment of hallucinations, a global assessment of delusions, and assessments of 7 individual symptoms of Parkinson disease (total score range 0-45, with higher scores indicating worse symptoms). At baseline, all patients had a mini-mental status examination score of at least 21 points, and the mean SAPS-PD score was 15.9 in the pimavanserin group vs. 14.7 in the placebo group (not significant). Prior to receiving study medication, all patients participated in a 2-week lead-in period during which they received brief nonpharmacologic psychosocial therapy. Patients were not allowed to receive other antipsychotic drugs during the trial, but they were allowed to receive stable doses of antiparkinsonian medication or deep brain stimulation.

About 88% of patients completed the trial, and 93% of patients were included in the efficacy analyses. The mean reduction in SAPS-PD symptom score was 5.79 with pimavanserin vs. 2.73 with placebo (p = 0.0014). A separate study has estimated the minimal clinically important difference for the SAPS-PD score to be 2.33 points. Similarly, the proportion of patients with at least a 20% reduction in SAPS-PD symptom score was 63% with pimavanserin vs. 47% with placebo (p = 0.0242, NNT 7). The proportion of patients with a clinical global impression of improvement was 49% with pimavanserin vs. 26% with placebo (p = 0.0015, NNT 5). Serious adverse events occurred in 11% of patients receiving pimavanserin and 4% of those receiving placebo (no p value reported). No treatment-related motor function impairment was observed in either group.

There is currently an unmet need for safe and effective treatment options for Parkinson disease psychosis. In this randomized trial, pimavanserin demonstrated a significant reduction in psychosis symptoms across several different outcome measures, and was generally well tolerated. However, the short duration of this trial is an important limitation, and longer follow-up is required for both efficacy and safety analyses. Pimavanserin is not currently available, but a new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in patients with Parkinson disease is expected later this year.

For more information see the Parkinson disease topic in Dynamed.

Earn CME Credit for reading this e-Newsletter.
For more information on this educational activity, see the CME sidebar.

Call for Peer Reviews

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DynaMed Careers

Looking for a change? The DynaMed editorial team is expanding and looking for talented and driven individuals. Visit the links below to learn about these exciting opportunities.

Deputy Editor of Oncology
Associate Managing Editor