Antidepressants Not Found to 'Benefit Dementia Patients'

Dementia sufferers do not benefit from being administered specific antidepressants, and in fact, the drugs may do more harm than good.

According to recent research, dementia sufferers do not benefit from being administered specific antidepressants. In fact, these drugs could put the patients at greater risk due to a variety of possible side-effects.

The study, which was conducted by a team in the United Kingdom, was a randomized drug trial which focused on antidepressant drugs in patients suffering from dementia. The researchers focused on the difference in depression symptoms in dementia patients who received mirtazapine, sertraline, and placebo pills.

They discovered that there was no reduction in symptoms of depression in the dementia patients who received the antidepressants.

"Analysis of the data suggests clearly that antidepressants, given with normal care, are not clinically effective," stated the report. "This finding implies a need to change the present clinical practice."

Henry Brodaty of New South Wales University's School of Psychiatry reported that the probe was the largest of its kind into the impact of antidepressants on dementia symptoms.

The drugs, however, are still effective for some elderly people with depression, he added.

This study was published in the Lancet.