Friday, July 10, 2020

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...

Older Patients Being Prescribed Risky Anticholinergic Drugs

From MinnPost: A new University of Minnesota study has found that anticholinergic drugs, including antidepressants, continue to be prescribed to millions of older Americans despite...

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.

Dubious Amyloid Theories of Alzheimer’s and Drug Treatments Keep Getting Hyped

-Pharmaceutical policy researcher Alan Cassels critically reviews a spate of effusive news coverage about a tiny, experimental study of a drug treatment for Alzheimer's.

Nursing Homes Shift Tactics on Dementia

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

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.

How Do Comprehensive Lifestyle Changes Influence Dementia?

In his Scientific American blog, Gary Stix reviews the latest investigations into the impacts of comprehensive lifestyle change approaches to preventing dementia. "Results of...

Not an Onion Study: Underpowered Analysis Of Poor Quality Data Finds Antipsychotics Actually Aren’t...

University of Groningen researchers analyzed only small, short-term clinical trials of generally poor quality to determine that antipsychotics are not linked to increased risk of death in elderly people with dementia.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

AARP Joins Antipsychotic Lawsuit Against CA Nursing Home

The AARP has joined an "unprecedented class-action lawsuit" against a California nursing home accused of using antipsychotics without informed consent from residents or family...

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.

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.

Some Nursing Homes Trying To Move Beyond Antipsychotics

-Some nursing homes are changing their approaches since the US federal government began more closely regulating the use of antipsychotic medications in elderly patients with dementia.

Common Alzheimer’s Drug Linked to Potentially Life-threatening Conditions

A popular Alzheimer's and dementia drug has been linked to two potentially fatal conditions.

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.

“‘They’re Waking Up’: Reducing Drugs for Dementia Patients Yields Dramatic Results”

Canada's Global News reports that "A couple of years after a national initiative began to reduce the use of anti-psychotic medication, some people are...

Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Keep Pushing To Reduce Antipsychotic Use In Elderly

-"The push for long-term care facilities to abandon the use of off-label use of antipsychotic medications for residents with dementia will intensify over the next two years."

Do Benzos Deserve a Major Role in the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders?

Researchers at the University of Milan and King's College, London thoroughly reviewed the literature available on Medline and Cochrane regarding the use of benzodiazepines...

“This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs”

NPR Shots explores a nursing home where "residents can always find something to do," and where use of antipsychotic drugs has dropped dramatically. This Nursing...

Medical Conditions in the Elderly Often Misdiagnosed as Psychiatric

27 (24%) of 112 geriatric patients admitted consecutively to an inpatient psychiatric unit had delirium from underlying medical conditions that was misdiagnosed as a psychiatric...

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