Neuroleptics Enhance Cognitive Decline In Patients With
- The use of neuroleptic drugs appears to hasten cognitive decline by
about two fold in demented individuals. British
- researchers report their finding in tomorrow's issue of the British
- The Warneford Hospital, Oxford, clinicians performed a 2-year prospective
study in a community setting of 71 subjects with dementia. In these patients,
"...the use of neuroleptic drugs was associated with an increased
rate of cognitive decline in dementia." The apparent association between
neuroleptic use and more rapid cognitive decline "...was independent
of the degree of dementia and of the behavioural symptoms for which the
neuroleptics might have been prescribed."
- Although Dr. Rupert McShane, who led the study, points out that patients
prescribed neuroleptics may have already been "...on a steeper trajectory
of cognitive decline," he observed an increase in the rate of decline
coincident with the initiation of neuroleptic therapy.
- Based on necropsy evaluations, the investigators suggest that the effect
may be a result of "...the anticholinergic effect of the neuroleptics."
Another potential explanation is that the decrease in cognitive function
may "...have been mediated by changes associated with chronic use
of neuroleptics, such as enlargement of the caudate nucleus, or an increased
susceptibility to develop the neurofibrillary change of Alzheimer's disease
or impairment of compensatory neurotransmitter responses to neuronal degeneration."
[ Home] [News]