By: Kirk Shelley
Scientists have long noticed a link between depression and dementia in the elderly.
The initial thought was depression might be the cause of people’s diminished mental capacity, but now they are changing their focus to the drugs the elderly patients were prescribed.
In a study of over 71,000 elderly citizens, they found that giving depressed people antidepressant medications tripled their chances of getting dementia.
The study took place from 2013-2017.
Of those who were depressed but didn’t take any drugs for it, just 2.6% developed dementia.
But if you took drugs for it, that rate jumped to 11%.
That is a huge increase.
The study was released in the May 28 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
Unfortunately, with these types of studies, you cannot say definitively how this is happening, but the researchers theorize that the antidepressants cause nerve damage in the brain, speeding up neurological problems.
Depression is an early symptom of dementia, but the difference between those getting drugs and those who don’t should be a caution to anyone considering taking antidepressants.
Especially since there is very little evidence that taking antidepressants actually helps alleviate depression. (To learn more, see this article in Freedom Health News.)
Supporters of antidepressant drugs said in the UK’s Daily Mail:
“There is no evidence that antidepressants cause dementia. There is an association as people with dementia are more likely to be depressed and therefore more likely to be on antidepressants,” said Prof. Wendy Burn, president of the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists.”
But be aware that the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists is dealing with official complaints from doctors who are objecting to claims from the group that people “quit having withdrawals” within two to three weeks.
According to the complaint, the real number is actually 11 months to up to ten years.
Many of the complaints are concerned that the group receives a substantial amount of financial support from drug manufacturers.
In a press release on the complaint:
“Professor Sami Timimi, professor of psychiatry and member of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry commented: ‘It is shameful that the official body that represents my profession throws about dangerous and misleading statements like this that lack a credible evidence base. We should be warning people about the terrible experiences of withdrawal that patients may experience, not giving false reassurance.’”
The dementia and antidepressants study was led by researchers at the University of Haifa, headed by Prof. Stephen Levine, with participants from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Interestingly, the University of Haifa is leading a fight to stop big pharma from financing drug studies, and the movement recently got the president of Pitzer Pharmaceuticals to go to the school to plead with them to take their money.
And now there is new evidence that antidepressant medications may significantly increase chances of neurological damage and dementia.
What makes this study concerning was that of the 71,000 who were looked at, only 5.2% took antidepressants or 3,688 people.
Of those, 407 developed dementia. Of the larger group who didn’t take the drugs, 67,827, only 1,769 did.
This ought to give one pause to look into the possible damage caused by psychotropic drugs versus the low probability of any benefit especially in cases of minor depression.