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Alzheimer's drugs associated with mortality risk

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DRUGS commonly used in the treatment of Alzheimer's are associated with an increased risk of death in older people, research has shown.

DRUGS commonly used in the treatment of Alzheimer's are associated with an increased risk of death in older people, research has shown.

The study compared mortality rates in those continuing with a course of neuroleptics with those who had their medication stopped after a minimum of 12 months.

The 165 participants lived in nursing homes in Oxfordshire, Newcastle, Edinburgh and London.

After 24 months, 78% of those who had stopped taking the drugs survived, compared with 24% of those who continued to take the drugs.

Survival rates were also higher among those who stopped the medication after 36 months (62% v 35%) and 42 months (60% v 25%).

Neuroleptics used in the study were thioridazine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, trifluoperazine and risperidone.

Findings were presented at the Alzheimer's Research Trust Network Conference, in Edinburgh earlier this week.

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