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Nursing home residents on antidepressants have increased risk for falling and fracturing bones, study finds


(NaturalNews) According to a recent study, antidepressants carry a high risk of falls for nursing home residents suffering from dementia, as reported by McKnight's. Researchers used Medicare claims data from 2007 to 2009 to analyze the link between residents who displayed moderate-to-severe symptoms of dementia and received antidepressants, and those who suffered falls or fractures during that timeframe.

The study was published in the Journal of Gerontology – Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, and found that those taking antidepressants had a "significantly" high risk of fractures, with a hazard ratio of 1.35. A similar trend was also reported for falls, with those taking antidepressants showing a 1.16 hazard ratio.

Are antidepressants effective?

This isn't the first time that the use of antidepressants has been questioned and according to New Scientist, high antidepressant use could lead to a UK public health disaster. There is evidence that there is an increased reliance on them, with people struggling to stop taking them once they've started.

The drugs are also thought to actually prolong symptoms of low mood and trigger other mental health problems. Yet in the UK, the number of prescriptions written for antidepressants increased 7% last year and has doubled since 2005. Meanwhile, as reported by Mad in America, the percentage of Americans taking antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13% from 1999 to 2012 – almost doubling.

Neuroscience research and reviews of clinical trials have questioned their effectiveness beyond the placebo effect and imaging studies have revealed that people diagnosed with severe depression show the same changes in brain scans when they respond to a placebo as they do when they take an antidepressant.

Worryingly, antidepressant use in America is causing suicide rates to soar, in particular amongst young women. According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there has been a significant jump in the suicide rate from 1999 to 2014 – and it's no coincidence that this coincides with the doubling of antidepressant use.

After stopping antidepressants, some people experience withdrawal symptoms that include anxiety, problems sleeping, stomach problems, vivid nightmares, memory and attention problems, as reported by New Scientist. Yet drug companies and doctors are still claiming that antidepressants aren't addictive and if people experience anxiety or other psychological symptoms after they stop taking medication, it means that their original problems are returning and they should take antidepressants for longer.

Natural remedies

The results of the study should encourage clinicians to assess the risks and benefits of antidepressants in residents with symptoms of dementia, as reported by McKnight's. There are many natural remedies for depression and ways to prevent dementia – plenty of which are determined by your diet.

According to University Health News, there are several ways you can beat depression naturally:
  • Decrease your sugar intake – sugar alters your brain's chemistry and disrupts your dopamine levels.
  • Try taking tyrosine supplement – this is an amino acid that your brain uses to produce dopamine.
  • Eat bananas, watermelon and yoghurt – these have high concentrations of tyrosine.
  • Decrease your caffeine intake – after the caffeine kick, your dopamine levels decrease.
  • Get a schedule that gives you enough sleep – this allows your brain to recuperate.
  • Decrease your stress levels – this is linked to dopamine deficiency.
  • Get enough magnesium – lack of this nutrient can decrease levels of dopamine.

There are also foods that combat dementia and Alzheimer's:

  • Coconut oil – contains a special type of fat that is converted into ketones that eliminate the amyloid plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer's.
  • Turmeric – exhibits measurable anti-dementia effects and is a powerful brain food.
  • Eggs – rich in natural vitamin B12 as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, eggs are a powerful health-promoting food that prevent Alzheimer's and preserve brain health.
  • Walnuts – also high in omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts have been shown to improve cognitive function.
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