Wednesday, September 18, 2019

How Loneliness Affects Our Health

From The New York Times: The potentially harmful impact of loneliness and isolation on our health and well-being have been well documented over the past...

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.

The Never-Ending Misuse of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

From Health Affairs: Although the problem of antipsychotic misuse in nursing homes has been raised to policymakers numerous times over the past six decades, the...

Almost No Nursing Homes Meet Federal Standards for Antipsychotic Use

The Office of the Inspector General finds that 99.5% of nursing facilities in the United States are non-compliant regarding federal regulations concerning antipsychotic use....

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...

The Hidden Costs of Paying Physicians More to Diagnose Dementia

A plan from the British government to pay doctors for every diagnosis of dementia that they make is an act of "folly," writes physician...

Psychotropics Accelerate Cognitive and Functional Decline

Researchers at Johns Hopkins, The Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, Duke and others found in a study of 230 Alzheimer's patients tracked over four...

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...

“‘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...

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...

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.

Antidepressant Use Linked to Higher Dementia Risk

From The Telegraph: A major new study has found a strong association between long-term exposure to antidepressants and risk of dementia. "Researchers warned there may be...

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...

Assessing the Cost of Psychiatric Drugs to the Elderly and Disabled Citizens of the...

ProPublica is well known for creating interesting data bases that allow anyone hooked up to a computer to see by name whether a physician is accepting Big Pharma payments — from dinners to speaking engagements to consulting services. What may be lesser known is that occasionally ProPublica will publish other data that when carefully mined can reveal even more about the use of psychiatric drugs especially when there is a public funding source available.

Risk of Death in the Elderly Trebled With Antipsychotics

In a nine-year study of all 2,224 residents of Leppävirta, Finland who were 65 years old or older, researchers found that the 332 residents...

New Medications Fail to Show Efficacy for Alzheimer’s Disease

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

“Their Brains had the Telltale Signs of Alzheimer’s. So why did They Still Have...

Sharon Begley for the STAT examines new research which raises “doubts about conventional approaches to diagnosing and finding treatments for Alzheimer’s.” Article →

Depression Linked to Dementia in Later Life

A retrospective study of 13,535 long-term Kaiser Permanente members found that depressive symptoms in mid-life (1964-1973 for this cohort) were associated with a 20%...

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.

Turns out Action Video Games Really can Harm Your Brain

From Global News: According to a recent Montreal study, habitually playing action video games can lead to grey matter loss in the hippocampus, which is...

Elderly With Dementia can be Withdrawn From Antipsychotics

The Cochrane Library reports that "many older people with Alzheimer's dementia and NPS (neuropsychiatric symptoms) can be withdrawn from chronic antipsychotic medication without detrimental effects...

Dementia Screening Tools Often Misdiagnose Patients

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

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...

Cognitive Enhancement With Yoga

From Psychiatric Times: A recent study suggests that Kundalini yoga may be at least as effective as memory training in improving cognitive resilience in older adults with...

For-Profit Medicine Incentivizes Overmedicating Our Elderly

From NBC: According to human rights investigators, anti-psychotic drugs are often administered to nursing home residents to address behavioral issues. Our nation's lack of funding...

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