Tuesday, September 17, 2019

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.

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.

Antipsychotics Even Riskier For The Elderly Than Previously Thought

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.

Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes Causing Many Adverse Effects in Elderly

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.

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.

Certain Antidepressants, Sleep Aids Associated with Higher Dementia Risk

Greater cumulative doses of drugs that are anticholinergic or block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine are associated with significant increases in dementia and Alzheimer's.

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.

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.

Lower Education Linked to Higher Antipsychotic Use in Swedish Elderly

Elderly people in Sweden are five times more likely to be taking antipsychotics if they have a diagnosis of dementia, according to research published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. And among those people with dementia, the lower their education the higher the likelihood they’re taking antipsychotics.

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.

“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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

Sunday FM: Music Therapy Comes to Life in Documentary

A new documentary coming to theatres around the US over the next few months explores Dan Cohen's Music and Memory program and its emotional...

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...

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...

Pharma-linked Panel Advises Wider Use of Statins Even as Drugs’ Links to Dementia Re-affirmed

People who take statins are at “significantly greater” risk of memory impairment than those who don’t take the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to research...

“Coming Out of the Fog”

"For the past eight years, Vicki Dyer has been the program director of the dementia ward at Lakewood, a continuing care centre in Waterville, Me.,...

Delirium on top of Dementia

Nowadays, with our increasingly aged population, it is probable that the main cause of psychotic symptoms in the West is dementia. But what is less obvious is that most of the symptoms of demented patients may actually be due to delirium (that is, to acute confusional states).

Pain Meds Reduce Dementia Symptoms

British researchers find that a 10% increase in pain medication resulted in a dramatic reduction in the use of antipsychotic and other medications. “When...

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...

Benzos Raise Dementia Risk 50%

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...

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....

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