Monday, September 16, 2019
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.

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.

New Data on the Adverse Effects of Meditation and Mindfulness

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

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...

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...

Veterans with both PTSD and Dementia More Likely to be Prescribed Antipsychotics

Researchers found that veterans with both conditions had higher odds of being prescribed second-generation antipsychotics than those presenting with just PTSD.

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.

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.

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.

Can Cultural Engagement Protect Against Depression?

A new study examines the preventative effects of cultural engagement has on depression among older adults.

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.

PTSD and Psychiatric Medication Linked to Dementia in Older Veterans

Veterans diagnosed with PTSD and taking SSRIs, novel antidepressants, or atypical antipsychotics are more likely to develop dementia.

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.

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

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.

Policies to Reduce Antipsychotic use Among Elderly are Failing

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

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...

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.

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.

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...

First Aid for Emotional Trauma

Handout by Will Hall, offered on the Icarus Project website, on what emotional trauma is and how to work to heal it. Go to "First...

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...

BPS Releases Review of Alternatives to Antipsychotics

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

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

-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.

The Foods That Can Help and Harm Your Brain

From The Guardian: Nutrition can have a major impact on the health of our brains, including our risk for dementia and cognitive decline. Here is...

Training Nursing Home Staff in Understanding Needs Can Reduce Antipsychotic Use

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the largest study of its kind, has shown it is possible to reduce the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, by engaging their staff in a training program designed to target residents’ strengths and their unmet needs.

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