No… This headline is not click bait. A new study out of Finland brings profoundly disturbing news…
A drug commonly given to Alzheimer’s patients skyrockets their risk of an early death by 40%!
That’s right. Someone you love may be at risk of having their life cut short. By a drug that not only raises their risk of death… but also raises the risk anyone who takes it will wind up with Alzheimer’s disease.
Study After Study Brings Out the Bad News
If someone you love suffers with Alzheimer’s disease, research from the University of Eastern Finland will interest you. The University of where?
Here’s a sampling of what scientists there have uncovered…
- In a study of 45,050 people, taking benzodiazepines (BZDs) raised the risk of stroke in Alzheimer’s patients by 20%.
- According to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Alzheimer’s sufferers taking BZDs have a 30% higher risk of pneumonia.
- The Finnish MEDALZ study reinforced evidence that BZDs speed up mental decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
- The older Alzheimer’s patients get, the more likely doctors prescribe BZDs and related drugs. But they’re less likely to be given anti-Alzheimer’s drugs.
- A Finnish-Swedish study found people taking BZDs are 45% more likely to commit murders than those not taking these drugs.
The Finnish-Swedish study looked at several types of drugs. And the link between BZDs and murder was one of the strongest links the researchers found.
BZDs have even been linked to a higher risk of head injuries in Alzheimer’s patients. Researchers found this risk lasts for at least two years after starting the drugs.
Stroke… Pneumonia… and Death?
Increased risk of disease is bad. But an increased risk of death?
Alzheimer’s sufferers already have a less-than-ideal life. But I can tell you from my own family’s experience, they can enjoy life to a remarkable degree.
Dad had problems remembering his past. But he still enjoyed family visits – even if he didn’t always know us. And he made friends at his assisted living facility. Friends with whom he enjoyed many happy hours.
Feeding these poor souls drugs that raise their risk of illness – and death – just seems wrong. Because it is wrong.
Now that we know BZDs raise their risk of death by 40%, shouldn’t we look at alternatives? Because the Finnish researchers say they exist.
Too Many Drugs… Too Little Care
“Our problem is not a lack of treatment, but a liberal use of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of behavioral symptoms of dementia,” says Professor Sirpa Hartikainen, “Excessive use may cause more damage than benefit.”
According to Hartikainen, “Non-pharmacological approaches should always be tried first, and psychotropic medication only temporarily when necessary.”
The good professor makes two points here:
- We should use drugs only after other options fail, and
- If we do resort to drugs, it should only be on a temporary basis.
In fact, he suggests, “Sometimes it can be asked whether these drugs are prescribed more to relieve the burden of caregivers and nurses than to help the patient.”
He goes on to point out weight loss – common in dementia – should be considered in prescribing drugs. And efforts to control weight loss can delay drug use.
Based on all this evidence, delaying use of BZDs could be a lifesaver for your loved one.
About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.
“Benzodiazepines increase mortality in persons with Alzheimer’s disease,” University of Eastern Finland. Nov 20, 2017.
“Benzodiazepines and related drugs increase stroke risk among persons with Alzheimer’s disease,” University of Eastern Finland. Jan 16, 2017.
“Benzodiazepines increase pneumonia risk among persons with Alzheimer’s disease,” University of Eastern Finland. April 10, 2017.
“Drugs to treat symptoms may worsen Alzheimer’s disease,” University of Eastern Finland. 2016.
“More than half of persons with Alzheimer’s disease aged 90 years or more use psychotropic drugs,” University of Eastern Finland. Oct 3, 2016.
“Finnish-Swedish study analyses link between psychotropic drugs and homicide risk,” University of Eastern Finland. Jun 1, 2015.
“Antidepressant use increases risk of head injuries among per- sons with Alzheimer’s disease,” University of Eastern Finland. Aug 9, 2017.
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