The use of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy for the administration of food and medications in patients with dementia has been on an increase. Many studies have failed to demonstrate the positive outcome expected of this feeding modality for the indications that required tube placement. Hence, the concept of feeding through gastrostomy tubes has become the subject of much discussion and controversy in recent times. We have reviewed the literature with regard to outcome in older patients with dementia and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy with respect to nutritional parameters, quality of life, and survival. A brief discussion on ethical and legal aspects is included. Much of the data do not suggest that outcome in dementia is favorably improved after percutaneous gastrostomy.
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