More reason to question their common use among the very old and very young.
A new study has found that taking powerful antipsychotic drugs significantly increases the likelihood of premature death for Alzheimer’s patients.
The study looked at 58,000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s between 2005 and 2011. Those who were prescribed antipsychotics (usually to control the unruly behavior some Alzheimer’s patients display) had a 60% higher risk of dying than those who didn’t take the drugs.
The study confirms current recommendations that antipsychotics be used only for the most difficult cases for a short period of time.
As we’ve reported previously, this advice has not been heeded. A 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office found that nearly one third of seniors with dementia who spend more than 100 days in a nursing home were given antipsychotic drugs—despite the fact that the FDA has never approved such drugs to be used for behavioral problems from dementia.
That’s just the beginning. We’ve also reported that antipsychotics are routinely given to kids in foster care and even toddlers as young as two years old. Brain-damaged veterans are also commonly given these drugs.
Other than increasing risk of death, antipsychotics have many other side effects, including hypotension, movement disorders, and metabolic syndrome issues.
The pain caused by these drugs is avoidable—but natural approaches are demonstrating far more exciting results:
- We’ve reported before that there has been strong evidence to show that coconut oil can prevent, and even reverse, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Fish oil has also been found to reduce the inflammation associated with dementia, with one study finding that the risk of all forms of dementia could be reduced by almost half with fish oil. Encouraging work has shown that B vitamins could reduce the rate of brain atrophy in patient with mild cognitive impairment—50% of which go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
- HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) is one of the best treatments for brain damage. Most hospitals have the HBOT tanks. But because they are not FDA-approved for this use, they sit empty most of the time.
Note the irony here: it’s fine to use antipsychotics for unapproved uses, even on toddlers, while it is not fine to use HBOT for anything not yet approved! And the FDA knows full well that because the tanks are generally beyond patent protection, nobody will spend the money to get other uses approved.