As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: January 18, 2012
by BBC News Health:
Elderly people with dementia are more likely to suffer falls if they are given anti-depressants by care home staff, a study claims.
Many dementia patients also suffer from depression and drugs known as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are frequently prescribed. But the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that the risk of injuries from falls was tripled.
The Alzheimer’s Society called for more research into alternative treatments.
The risk of falls following treatment with older anti-depressants is well established, as the medication can cause side effects such as dizziness and unsteadiness. It had been hoped that a move to newer SSRI-type drugs would reduce this problems, but the latest research, from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, appears to show the reverse.
‘Worrying’Dr Carolyn Sterke recorded the daily drug use and records of falls in 248 nursing home residents over a two-year period.
The average age of the residents was 82, and the records suggested that 152 of them had suffered a total of 683 falls. The consequences of falls were relatively high, with 220 resulting in injuries including hip fractures and other broken bones – and one resident died following a fall.
The risk of having an injury-causing fall was three times higher in residents taking SSRIs compared with those not taking the drug, and this risk rose further if the patient was being given sedative drugs as well.Dr Sterke said that these risks needed to be taken into account when assessing whether anti-depressants were required.She said: “Physicians should be cautious in prescribing SSRIs to older people with dementia, even at low doses.”
Professor Clive Ballard, from the Alzheimer’s Society, said it was “worrying” that such a commonly prescribed anti-depressant was causing increased risk. He said: “It is important to highlight any aspect of care that might be causing risk to a person with dementia. We want to ensure that people with the condition are always receiving the best care possible.
“More research is now needed to understand why this anti-depressant is having this effect on people with dementia and if there is an alternative treatment for depression that they could be prescribed. “One in three people over 65 will die with dementia yet research into the condition continues to be drastically underfunded. We must invest now.”
It has long been known that vitamin D – often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” – is one of the most essential vitamins for our overall health because it regulates calcium in the body...
SWEAT IT OUT Sauna bathing, a form of passive heat therapy, is a traditional activity in Finland that is primarily used for relaxation purposes and is becoming increasingly common in many other populations. The typical...
Has anyone ever suggested that you take a deep breath to help you relax when you are feeling anxious or stressed? That advice has roots in the wisdom of ancient yogic teachings. Breathing – that...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.