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. Underlying conditions of vision loss associated with the Charles Bonnet syndrome affect the eye, optic nerve, or brain and include a diverse set of pathologies, such as macular degeneration and stroke. While often not functionally disabling, the hallucinations can be distressing to patients and negatively impact quality of life. Published case reports suggest that the syndrome is not well recognized by clinicians and may often be misdiagnosed as psychosis or early dementia.