Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Biogen Pushes FDA to Approve Failed Alzheimer’s Drug

A new analysis, published in Lancet Neurology, demonstrates how Biogen is spinning results from two failed trials for a new Alzheimer's drug.
dementia

The Monster in Our House: What Psychiatric Medication Did to My Father

When we eliminated his last psychotropic prescription, it was as if my father came back from the dead. All of the monster-like qualities that we thought were severe symptoms of his dementia have practically disappeared. We’ve found ourselves questioning whether he has dementia at all.

New Data on the Adverse Effects of Meditation and Mindfulness

Study reports on the less-examined findings of difficult and painful meditation-related experiences.

Antidepressant Use Linked to Dementia

A new study finds that elderly individuals using antidepressants are at significantly higher risk for dementia compared to depressed individuals who did not take the drugs.

Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics on Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

One-third of adults with an intellectual or developmental disability are dispensed antipsychotics, despite having no existing psychiatric diagnosis.

Evidence Strengthening that Common Benzodiazepine Sedatives May Cause Dementia

A meta-analysis of studies found that the risk of dementia increased 22% for every additional twenty daily doses of benzodiazepine medications annually.

Anticholinergic Medications Linked to Dementia Similar to Early Alzheimer’s

A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, investigates the effects of anticholinergic medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics, on cognition in older adults diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Nonclinical Factors are Associated with Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use in Older Adults

White race and size of initial prescription, along with poor sleep quality, are associated with long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults.

Benzodiazepine Use of 50% of Elderly Patients is Not Monitored

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publication Psychiatric News has released an article about the recent British Medical Journal study finding strong links between long-term...

Assessing Increased Mortality Risks of Antipsychotics and Mood Stabilizers in Dementia

An article in January's American Journal of Psychiatry weighs the relative risk of mortality associated with various antipsychotics and mood stabilizers used in the treatment of...

Patients on Antipsychotics at High Risk for Cardiovascular Issues, Study Finds

Antipsychotics present a known risk for major side effects. A new study suggests that certain antipsychotics may present a greater risk for cardiovascular disease than others.

Benzodiazepines Linked to Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s: Causation or Not?

According to a study in the British Medical Journal, benzodiazepine use is associated with a significantly increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some experts...

Antipsychotics Linked to Cognitive & Memory Impairments

Finnish reseachers report in Schizophrenia Research that antipsychotic use is associated with cognitive and memory impairments. The University of Oulu team studied forty people...

Increased Risk of Movement Disorders From Antipsychotics in Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

Large cohort study demonstrates that those with an intellectual disability are at an increased risk for movement disorder side effects of antipsychotics.

BPS Releases Review of Alternatives to Antipsychotics

BPS releases report encouraging behavioral interventions for people with dementia, rather than antipsychotics

Drugs and Dementia

This week, JAMA Internal Medicine published online an interesting paper, “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia: A Prospective Cohort Study.” They found that exposure to anticholinergic drugs significantly increased the risk of developing dementia. This study has important implications for those who prescribe and take psychiatric drugs.

Research Is Shedding New Light on Hearing Voices

From Psychology Today: Although auditory hallucinations are commonly thought of as a sign of mental illness, research shows that hearing voices is common among the general population...

ECT for Agitation and Aggression in Dementia

The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry published an article titled Safety and utility of acute electroconvulsive therapy for agitation and aggression in dementia,  which concludes "Electroconvulsive therapy may be a safe treatment option to reduce symptoms of agitation and aggression in patients with dementia whose behaviors are refractory to medication management." But the participants were not a random selection of people taking the drugs in question. Rather, they were individuals selected because of aggressive behavior, most of whom had been taking some or all of these drugs on admission. So it is a distinct possibility that the aggression was a drug effect for many, or even most, of the study participants.

Review Reinforces Social Connection as Protective Health Factor

Is a lack of social connection in the US harmful to health? In a review of social connection and health literature, researcher calls for a societal shift in values towards interdependence.

Still Mistreating the Elderly with Psychiatric Drugs: Antipsychotics

The percentage of seniors in the United States prescribed potentially deadly antipsychotic drugs increases with age. A new study reveals that in the face of serious risks of strokes, fractures, kidney injuries, and death, over seventy-five percent of seniors given antipsychotics do not have a diagnosis for a mental disorder.

Dementia Screening Tools Often Misdiagnose Patients

A new study has found that the three most commonly-used dementia screening measures often misdiagnose patients.

The Drug Being Pushed on Nursing Home Residents

From Next Avenue: The drug Nuedexta has only been approved for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the maker of...

The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark

In this piece for The New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar profiles the philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark, whose work argues that our minds are inseparable...

Antipsychotics Increase Mortality Risk in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

A new study in JAMA Neurology finds that the use of antipsychotic drugs more than doubled the risk of death in patients with Parkinson’s...

Patient Race Associated with Varied Psychiatric Treatment Experiences

Findings point to association between race and the mental health care experiences of African-American and White veterans.

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