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Antipsychotics and their hidden role in brain injury

Australian Doctor News, Antony Scholefield, 21 January 2020

blue pillsThe use of antipsychotics in elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease might raise their risk of traumatic brain injury from falls, researchers warn. In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, Finnish researchers have found antipsychotics are associated with a 29% increased risk of head injuries, and a 22% increased risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The group analysed data from health records of 22,000 matched pairs of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (mean age 81.7) living in the community.

Antipsychotic users had four more head injuries per 1000 person-years and two more TBIs per 1000 person-years compared to non-users,” the researchers write. The risk of TBI is highest immediately after the drugs are initiated, when patients have a low tolerance to the effects, they say.

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