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Auditory and visual hallucination prevalence in Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eversfield, Charlotte and Orton, Llwyd (2018) Auditory and visual hallucination prevalence in Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine. ISSN 0033-2917

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Abstract

Background: Non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), such as auditory hallucinations (AH), contribute to disease burden but are not well understood. Methods: Systematic review and random-effects meta-analyses of studies reporting AH associated with PD or DLB. Prevalence of visual hallucinations (VH) in identified studies meeting eligibility criteria were included in meta-analyses, facilitating comparison with AH. Synthesis of qualitative descriptions of AH was performed. PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases were searched for primary journal articles, written in English, published from 1970 to 2017. Studies reporting AH prevalence in PD or DLB were screened using PRISMA methods. Results: Searches identified 4,542 unique studies for consideration, of which, 26 met inclusion criteria. AH pooled prevalence in PD was estimated to be 8.9% (95% CI=5.3-14.5), while in DLB was estimated to be 30.8% (±23.4-39.3). Verbal hallucinations, perceived as originating outside the head, were the most common form of AH. Non-verbal AH were also common while musical AH were rare. VH were more prevalent, with an estimated pooled prevalence in PD of 28.2% (±19.1-39.5), while in DLB they were estimated to be 61.8% (±49.1-73.0). Meta-regression determined that the use of validated methodologies to identify hallucinations produced higher prevalence estimates. Conclusions: AH and VH present in a substantial proportion of PD and DLB cases, with VH reported more frequently in both conditions. Both AH and VH are more prevalent in DLB than PD. There is a need for standardised use of validated methods to detect and monitor hallucinations.

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