Reactions 1704, p320 - 2 Jun 2018
Steroid dementia syndrome : case report
An 87-year-old man developed steroid dementia syndrome
during treatment with prednisone [dosage and route not
The man’s medical history was significant for hypertension,
macular degeneration, depression. He was referred to
geriatrics for memory concerns. He reported of difficulty in
doing all his activities independently and his wife had to help
him manage his medications, poor sleep, trouble
remembering friend’s names and recent conversations. He
was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica and was started
on a prednisone taper one month before decline in his
condition. On the St. Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS)
Exam, his score was 16/30. He was diagnosed with likely
moderate dementia, either Alzheimer’s or vascular.
Three months later, at a follow-up, the man’s
rheumatologist had completely tapered off his steroids for four
weeks. He and his wife reported of significant improvement in
his sleep, memory and function and managed his medication.
On a repeat SLUMS exam, his score was 24/30 along with
improved parameters of clock draw and story recall. In view of
a significant cognitive recovery following discontinuation of
prednisone, a diagnosis of dementia was considered unlikely.
He was diagnosed with reversible steroid related cognitive
impairment persistent with steroid dementia syndrome [time
to reaction onset not stated].
Author comment: "[T]he patient was thought to be more
likely experiencing a reversible steroid related cognitive
impairment consistent with [steroid dementia syndrome]."
"Steroid dementia syndrome (SDS) . . . patients taking steroids
who develop deficits mimicking symptoms of dementia and
is frequently reversible after steroid discontinuation. "
Stol I, et al. Corticosteroids causing dementia-like cognitive changes. Journal of
the American Geriatrics Society 66 (Suppl. 2): S99-S100 abstr. B18, Apr 2018.
Available from: URL: http://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15376 [abstract] -
Reactions 2 Jun 2018 No. 17040114-9954/18/1704-0001/$14.95 Adis © 2018 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved