Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stroke risk in elderly treated with antipsychotics is newly linked to specific drug actions

Date:
March 11, 2013
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Antipsychotic administration in the elderly is associated with an increased risk for cerebrovascular accident, more commonly known as stroke; a new study provides additional insight into this important relationship.

Antipsychotic administration in the elderly is associated with an increased risk for cerebrovascular accident, more commonly known as stroke; a new study published in Biological Psychiatry provides additional insight into this important relationship.

Antipsychotics are prescribed to elderly patients to treat symptoms such as agitation, psychosis, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. The increased risk of stroke associated with these medications was identified approximately a decade ago and has since been replicated by subsequent studies. Although the increase in stroke risk is small, some guidelines discourage the prescription of antipsychotics to elderly patients.

Antipsychotic drugs vary in their effects on the body and so it is likely that antipsychotics are not uniform in their effects on stroke risk. Thus, better understanding of the mechanisms through which antipsychotics increase stroke risk might guide the prescription of safer drugs for elderly patients.

In their study, Wu and colleagues focused on the wide range of brain mechanisms targeted by antipsychotic medications. All antipsychotics block the D2 subtype of receptor for the neurotransmitter dopamine. However, these drugs also act on a range of other receptor targets including the serotonin 5-HT2 receptor, the M1 receptor for the transmitter acetylcholine, and the alpha2 receptor for noradrenaline.

To conduct the study, the researchers matched information from a large national database of insurance claims to what is known about the receptor binding profiles of the antipsychotic drugs.

"We found that antipsychotics with a high binding affinity of alpha2 adrenergic and M1 muscarinic receptors were associated with a greater risk of stroke than the use of other types of antipsychotics," said Dr. Susan Shur-Fen Gau, Professor and Chair at National Taiwan University and corresponding author of the study.

They also found that this stroke risk was elevated in patients who were older and had dementia. Stroke risk was also related to duration and dosage of treatment, with patients who received either short duration of antipsychotic treatment (4 weeks or less) or higher daily doses of treatment showing an increased risk of stroke. This suggests that risk is highest in the initial weeks of antipsychotic treatment and for those with a higher average daily dose.

"Antipsychotics have a wide range of receptor profiles. The stroke risk profiles from this study suggest that it may be possible to use antipsychotics more safely in the elderly," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

Additional research is necessary, but the authors agree. They recommend that clinicians start antipsychotics at low dosages and closely monitoring for side effects in the initial treatment, particularly for individuals with older age and the presence of dementia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chi-Shin Wu, Sheng-Chang Wang, Susan Shur-Fen Gau, Hui-Ju Tsai, and Yu-Cheng Cheng. Association of Stroke with the Receptor-Binding Profiles of Antipsychotics-A Case-Crossover Study. Biological Psychiatry, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.07.006

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Stroke risk in elderly treated with antipsychotics is newly linked to specific drug actions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311123825.htm>.
Elsevier. (2013, March 11). Stroke risk in elderly treated with antipsychotics is newly linked to specific drug actions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311123825.htm
Elsevier. "Stroke risk in elderly treated with antipsychotics is newly linked to specific drug actions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311123825.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins