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SSRIs Disrupt Sleep in the Elderly, May Contribute to Dementia

Sleep Review: The Journal for Sleep Specialists

10-26-16

According to Medscape, antidepressants can significantly disrupt sleep in elderly patients and may contribute to early signs of neurodegeneration.

“We take into account other side effects of antidepressants, including weight gain and sexual side effects, but we are less concerned about sleep, especially when we use the SSRIs,” Muhammad Tahir, MD, psychiatry resident, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, told Medscape Medical News.

“But the SSRIs increase sleep latency in the elderly and decrease REM [rapid eye movement] sleep duration and are also associated with REM sleep behavioral disorders, including nightmares,” he added.

“So our literature review suggests that we should be careful about using SSRIs in the elderly population and not underestimate the effectiveness of psychotherapy and other holistic care approaches for the elderly,” Dr Tahir said.

Get the full story at www.medscape.com

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