Thursday, July 30, 2009

Antipsychotics, dementia and diabetes

An increasing number of older adults with dementia are being prescribed antipsychotic drugs to regulate their behaviour; something that has been linked with Parkinson's-like symptoms, stroke and diabetes. Researchers from the University of Toronto studied 13,817 people with diabetes who started treatment with antipsychotics between 2002 and 2006. 11% were hospitalized for hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) over the course of the study. Those who were currently taking antipsychotics had a higher risk of hospitalization and the risk was highest among those who were just starting antipsychotic treatment. Some previous studies have suggested that the neurotransmitter dopamine has a role in regulating blood sugar so it could be the antipsychotic's effects on dopamine within the body that leads to the increased risk.

You can find out more about this research at

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