New research has indicated that dementia sufferers do not feel any benefit from taking certain types of antidepressant and could in fact be at greater risk from a range of possible side-effects.
According to PJ Online, a study conducted by a UK team and published in the Lancet last week found no reduction in symptoms of depression in a randomised trial including mirtazapine, sertraline and placebo pills.
"Analysis of the data suggests clearly that antidepressants, given with normal care, are not clinically effective," the report stated. "This finding implies a need to change the present clinical practice."
Henry Brodaty of New South Wales University's School of Psychiatry claimed the probe was the largest of its kind into the impact of antidepressants on dementia symptoms, but pointed out they are still effective for some elderly people with depression.
Last week, Professor June Andrews from the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling insisted living healthily can reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as Alzheimer's in later life.