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Criteria for Psychosis in Major and Mild Neurocognitive Disorders: International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) Consensus Clinical and Research Definition


Psychosis is common among individuals with neurocognitive disorders, is difficult to manage, and causes considerable burden and stress to patients and caregivers. Developing effective treatments is a substantial unmet medical need but research has been slowed by the need for updated consensus diagnostic criteria. To address this need, the International Psychogeriatrics Association initiated a process to develop criteria for clinical use, research, and treatment development efforts. The process included clinical, regulatory, and industry stakeholders as well as input from a global network of experts in geriatric psychiatry responding to two surveys (N = 336). Results from the consensus process confirmed that clinicians wanted elaboration of aspects of the definition proposed by Jeste and Finkel in 2000 to ensure that the criteria are applied appropriately. Based on discussions, the survey, and emerging research, criteria were revised to apply to psychosis occurring with all major and mild neurocognitive disorders. Other important changes include providing examples of hallucinations and delusions and clarifying time course, impact, and exclusionary criteria. This definition of psychosis in major and mild neurocognitive disorders can be used to advance many types of research including development of much needed pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions for psychosis in patients with neurocognitive disorders.

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