Treating Parkinson's Psychosis With Antipsychotics May Boost Death Risk

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People who suffer from Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP) may be harmed if they take antipsychotics.

Researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London examined more than 400 people with PDP to measure the impact of antipsychotic medications on their condition. They were divided into two groups: one taking an antipsychotic, and the other not taking it.

The group that was treated with antipsychotics were four times more likely to have died following three to six months of treatment than those who did not receive any antipsychotic medication, the researchers reported in the Journal of Medical Directors Association. In addition, those on antipsychotics were also more likely to experience cognitive decline, worsening of Parkinson’s symptoms, stroke, infections, and falls.

“Antipsychotics are known to be linked to serious harm in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and these findings show that a similar, although not identical, risk is seen in people with Parkinson’s,” Clive Ballard, PhD, from the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases at the IoPPN, said in a statement.

“Our findings therefore strongly suggest that doctors, patients and family members should consider these risks very carefully when considering potential treatments for psychosis and any other behavioral symptom in people with Parkinson’s disease, such as agitation or aggression.”

More than 50% of Parkinson’s patients experience PDP at some point.

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PDP patients treated with antipsychotics were four times as likely to died following three to six months of treatment than those not on the meds.

A new study from the U.K. finds that antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of death in people with Parkinson's disease psychosis (PDP).

Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London found that people with PDP who were treated with antipsychotics were four times more likely to have died following three to six months of treatment than those who did not receive any antipsychotic medication.

Investigators also discovered that when people with PDP received antipsychotic medications they were more likely to experience serious health issues including cognitive decline, worsening of Parkinson's symptoms, stroke, infections, and falls.

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