Antipsychotic Use Linked to Increased Mortality Risk in Parkinson’s


Medscape Medical News reports on a presentation of findings at the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society 19th International Congress, that showed a doubling and tripling of the risk of dying within 6 months for people with Parkinson’s if they were taking antipsychotics.

Antipsychotic Use Increases Mortality in Parkinson’s (Medscape Medical News, June 23, 2015) (Full text with registration)


  1. Let me get this straight… the standard treatment for Parkinson’s, the drug levodopa, ” Levodopa is turned into dopamine”
    Then , or at the same time they give an anti-psychotic that does the opposite.
    That is some crazy stuff.

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    • Exactly. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of dopamine-producing cells and levodopa can slow down the symptoms by making the still remaining cells more efficient at making the molecule. Giving the drug that does the exact opposite, that is disrupt dopamine signalling is crazy. It only shows you that the “doctors” have no f***ing idea what they’re doing. This is criminal medical error right here. I’m really lacking words on that painful stupidity.

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  2. Its not that complicated. The people in the drug treated group were dying earlier for the same reason that they were having psychotic episodes: Because they had more advanced disease. Psychotic symptoms are known to be a symptom of relatively advanced Parkinson’s, and Parkinson’s is a progressive, fatal disease.

    Maybe it would be good for MIA to host an article on how to interpret clinical trial data, and especially the limitations of observational data from non-randomized studies.

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    • According to the Medscape article linked to:

      “Using 31 exclusion criteria, matching factors, and covariates, the researchers formed a matched control cohort of non–AP users. They compared 180-day mortality of AP users with that of nonusers, from which hazard ratios were calculated. There were 7877 matched pairs.”

      “Whether the analysis was done by intention to treat or by exposure to drug, the patterns were largely the same. Adjustments were made for measurable confounders related to PD severity and comorbidities.”

      “The researchers found similar results when they excluded patients who died within the first 2 weeks or 4 weeks of AP exposure to eliminate patients who were at imminent risk for death when therapy was initiated.”

      “Dr Okun noted that the increased mortality with AP use in patients with PD psychosis parallels findings of their use in non-PD patients with psychosis.”

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      • “Dr Okun noted that the increased mortality with AP use in patients with PD psychosis parallels findings of their use in non-PD patients with psychosis.”

        In other words, the article should actually be entitled, “Antipsychotic Use Linked to Increased Mortality Risk in All People”?

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    • One question: do you know what signalling pathway is affected in Parkinson’s disease and what signalling pathway is targeted by anti-psychotics?


      It’s like giving a diabetic a bit of insulin and then stuffing him full of cake. Sure it will not only not help but render the guy deadly sick.

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  3. Surprise, surprise. Given that “anti-psychotics” cause many symptoms which are similar to Parkinson’s disease and interfere with normal dopamine signalling (which is already disrupted in this disease) – how dense does one have to be to give these drug to these patients (or anyone at all for that matter).

    It’s appalling. These people are either to stupid and uneducated to be working in the field of medicine or simply evil and should be in prison for murder. Or both.

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