Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Antipsychotic Drugs Kill One in Twenty Elderly Patients

From the Guardian, May 26, 2008:

Elderly dementia patients prescribed antipsychotic drugs are at three times the risk of a serious health problem or dying within a month of treatment, compared to those not given the drugs, Canadian researchers said on Monday.

The medications have been used by doctors to treat aggression in people who are not psychotic or schizophrenic, but there are risks for elderly dementia patients prescribed the drugs, according to Dr. Paula Rochon of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, and colleagues.

"Of residents newly admitted to a nursing home, 17 percent are started on antipsychotic drugs within 100 days of their admission," often for short periods to control delirium, delusions or aggressive behavior, Rochon wrote.

"Antipsychotic drugs should be prescribed with caution even for short-term therapy," she concluded in the report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Three years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required warnings on antipsychotic drugs notifying patients and doctors of the risks of heart problems or infections in elderly dementia patients.

Previous research has suggested the drugs cause dry mouth and difficulty swallowing, which can lead to pneumonia. Side effects such as dizziness can increase the risk of falls.
The seven-year study of more than 40,000 people age 65 or older -- half in nursing homes -- found 5.2 percent of the nursing homes residents died within a month of being given one of the newer class of so-called atypical antipsychotic drugs...

Atypical antipsychotic drugs, which the study said had been available for about a decade, include risperidone, marketed by Johnson & Johnson as Risperdal; olanzapine, made by Eli Lilly and Co under the brand name Zyprexa; and quetiapine, sold by AstraZeneca Plc under the brand name Seroquel.

Complete article here: The Guardian: Antipsychotics given for dementia pose risks-study

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

For Memorial Day and our Military

Whether you agree with the war in Iraq or not I think it is important to acknowledge the soldiers themselves. These are men who are willing to give up everything to protect us. In that spirit, here is a really cool video story by Celestial Navigations especially for Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

How important are human rights? Well, without them you can be imprisoned without trial, you can have your property taken away, you can be enslaved, you can be discriminated against because of your race or beliefs, you can be tried in a secret court, you can have your letters opened and your phone tapped without due process, you can be arrested for expressing your opinion, you can be tortured and more.

Why should you learn about human rights? It is vital to know what your rights are, otherwise they will be taken away from you and all the abuses of the centuries, abuses that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written to stop, will come about again.

Where can I learn about my human rights?
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Abridged Version)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Full Version)

What organizations should I know about and help?
- United Nations
- Youth For Human Rights
- Human Rights Watch (formerly Helsinki Watch)
- Amnesty International
- Bloggers Unite

Saturday, May 03, 2008

At last a portable reader that works!

Have you checked out The Amazon Kindle. It's awesome!

It's as thin as a pencil. It holds over 200 books. It has a hi-res screen that looks and read like real paper. You can connect up to Amazon wirelessly and download books directly from Amazon. It uses cell phone technology so you don't need to find a hot-spot, it's always connected. You can view Word docs on it. You get newspapers delivered to it daily. And more.

I watched some of the videos and this thing looks to me like the first really viable ebook reading device. This is the iPod for books. There are more than 115,000 titles available for it and (you won't find this on the Amazon site) you can read books in the Mobi format too. (More on Mobi.) So what are you waiting for? Go get it!