dementia

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

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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

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

New Medications Fail to Show Efficacy for Alzheimer’s Disease

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Three phase III clinical trials assessing the efficacy of Lundbeck’s investigational drug idalopirdine for Alzheimer’s disease have failed

Research Is Shedding New Light on Hearing Voices

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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...

Old Dogs Do Have Trouble Learning New Tricks — Can They Teach Us About...

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-University of Kentucky's Elizabeth Head discusses her research into learning in elderly beagles who, unlike mice and rats, can seemingly develop dementia like humans.

Lack of Face-to-Face Contact Doubles Depression Risk for Older Adults

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New research suggests that more frequent in-person contact lessens the risk of depression in older adults. The study, published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, found that in Americans over fifty the more face-to-face contact they had with children, family and friends, the less likely they were to develop depressive symptoms.

Patient Race Associated with Varied Psychiatric Treatment Experiences

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

Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes Causing Many Adverse Effects in Elderly

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A literature review found that the extensive off-label use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes is causing many adverse effects and providing limited benefits.

Antipsychotics Increase Mortality Risk in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

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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...

Policies to Reduce Antipsychotic use Among Elderly are Failing

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Research reveals that rates of antipsychotic prescribing to the elderly in the UK have not dropped despite national recommendations.

Benzos Raise Dementia Risk 50%

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A 15-year prospective study, in the British Medical Journal this week, of 1063 subjects by researchers from the University of Bordeaux and Harvard University...

Review Reinforces Social Connection as Protective Health Factor

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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.

Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics on Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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

Antidepressant Use Linked to Dementia

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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.

The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark

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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...

Evidence Strengthening that Common Benzodiazepine Sedatives May Cause Dementia

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

Activity-Based Therapies Reduce Antipsychotic Use

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Researchers from the University of North Carolina found that activity-based therapy and care reduced the use of antipsychotics in a study of 107 people...

Fewer Antipsychotics, More Nurses Will Improve Care and Save Money in Nursing Homes

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The Center for Medicare Advocacy advised yesterday that nursing facilities could realize huge savings by eliminating "inappropriate and life-threatening" antipsychotic drugs. The statement added...

Discontinuing Psychotropics Reduces Falls in Elderly

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Australian researchers look at the literature on the effect of psychotropics on falls in the elderly; largest effect of any randomized trial was achieved...

Assessing Increased Mortality Risks of Antipsychotics and Mood Stabilizers in Dementia

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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...

Antipsychotics Even Riskier For The Elderly Than Previously Thought

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Antipsychotic medications that are commonly being used to help control behaviors in elderly people with dementia seem to be causing premature deaths at high rates.

Antipsychotics for Dementia: Not Justified and Risky

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In a study of antipsychotics used to treat 75,445 patients in nursing homes in the United States, researchers from Harvard Medical School, Columbia and...

ECT for Agitation and Aggression in Dementia

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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.

Anticholinergic Medications Linked to Dementia Similar to Early Alzheimer’s

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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.

Nursing Homes Shift Tactics on Dementia

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As part of a series on the inappropriate use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, the Boston Globe explores alternative approaches, such as llama therapy,...