Painkillers might cut agitation in dementia patients

July 18, 2011 2:31:31 PM PDT
Many dementia patients prescribed antipsychotic drugs may be better treated with simple painkillers.

A study from the British Medical Journal finds painkillers significantly cut agitation in dementia patients.

Agitation is a common dementia symptom and is often treated with powerful antipsychotic drugs which can have risky side effects.

There is also fresh concern about mild brain injuries that hundreds of thousands of troops have suffered from explosions in recent wars. Even concussions seem to raise the risk of developing Alzheimer's or other dementia later in life.

Newer studies are challenging the view that only moderate or severe brain injuries predisposed people to dementia.

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