Skip to comments.Study finds common Alzheimer's patients' drugs not worth risks
Posted on 11/05/2006 11:54:23 PM PST by John Carey
Widely prescribed anti-psychotic drugs do not help most Alzheimer's patients with delusions and aggression and are not worth the risk of sudden death and other side effects, the first major study on sufferers outside nursing homes concludes.
The finding could increase the burden on families struggling to care for relatives with the mind-robbing disease at home.
"These medications are not the answer," said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which paid for the study. He said better medications are at least several years away.
Three-fourths of the 4.5 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease develop aggression, hallucinations or delusions, which can lead them to lash out at caregivers or harm themselves. This behavior is the most common reason families put people with Alzheimer's in a nursing home.
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Only if people pay attention to it! My mom seems, for all the world, to have been helped tremendously by the medications she takes, not that she's in any great shape mind you. But trust me on this one.
Well, anecdotal evidence. But hell, I only have one mom.
Look into recent turmeric studies for additional help.
I do wonder how often these medications are given or not given in a vacuum since the account suggests in this study they gave them in a vacuum.
But in the real world how often do doctors pair let's say Aricept with Risperdal? Or Risperdal and Neurotin? Or Aricept with Vitamin E? Or Prozac. Or any combination there of until finding the right cocktail that assists a patient?
I think this report, if not the study itself, does a great dis-service to caregivers.
It still shows perhaps 10% benefit over placebo. If you have dealt with a violent, delusional dementia patient, you'd welcome a chance at that benefit!
And, hello Linda Johnson, nursing homes will not put up with patients in such state. They'll evict them.
It would be interesting to know the drug histories of these patients. I suspect some or many of these people have been prescribed anti-depression and/or anti-psycotic throughout their lives.