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The Boston Globe


letters | Sunday Forum

For some dementia patients, anti-psychotic drugs can ease suffering

BALANCE HAS been lacking in Kay Lazar’s series on overuse of anti-psychotic drugs in nursing homes, and the unintended consequence may be to deprive suffering patients of an effective treatment (“State fails to rein in sedating of seniors,” Page A1, Dec. 23).

Many dementia patients suffer from paranoia and delusions. The worst I’ve seen is a woman who believed her children had been left unattended and in danger. I guarantee this patient will be combative, angry, and irrational in her desperate attempts to reach them. Music, animal therapy, or other approaches are unlikely to help. But properly used anti-psychotic drugs can relieve her suffering.

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