Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), also called Benson's syndrome, is a form of dementia which is usually considered an atypical variant of Alzheimer's disease. The disease causes atrophy of the back (posterior) part of the cerebral cortex, resulting in the progressive disruption of complex visual processing. The disease causes atrophy of the back (posterior) part of the cerebral cortex, resulting in the progressive disruption of complex visual processing.
Although no cure for posterior cortical atrophy exists, several medications as well as many non-pharmaceutical approaches can potentially improve daily functioning and quality of life. Patients with posterior cortical atrophy can often benefit from physical and occupational therapy. Cholinesterase inhibitors approved for Alzheimer's disease, like donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®) and galantamine (Razadyne®/Reminyl®), can help the symptoms of PCA by boosting the function of brain cells to compensate for damage caused by Alzheimer's disease. Patients experiencing depression, irritability, frustration and a loss of self-confidence may benefit from antidepressant medication.
So far, no clinical trials have been completed to determine the efficacy of these drugs specifically for treatment of PCA, although there is currently an ongoing study at the Hospital for Neurology in London. Since the underlying cause of Alzheimer's disease and PCA can be the same, it is thought that these treatments have the same beneficial effect for people with PCA. It is important to note, however, that these medications are only designed to treat the symptoms of the disease and are not a cure.