Patients with dementia eventually develop a range of mood problems ranging from anxiety, depression, panic disorders, confusion, paranoia and agitation. While most of these mood disorders can be managed with supportive care or behavior therapy, a large number of these patients require anti psychotic medications.
Now there is a study from Britain which claims that anti psychotic drugs are over prescribed in these patients. Not only is the medication needless, but it contributes to an extra 1800 deaths each year.
The British government funded review revealed that only 1/3rd of patients with dementia who were prescribed anti psychotics had any benefit- a finding that could change clinical practice in management of dementia patients globally.
Said Dr. Sube Banerjee, Professor of Mental Health and Aging at Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, "Anti-psychotics are used too often in dementia. Drugs for dementia should be cut to a third of current levels in Britain and said his study would "provide international leadership in this complex clinical area."
Globally it is estimated that close to 35 million people have some degree of Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) and the numbers are expected to double in the next 20 years.