Antipsychotic Use in Parkinson’s Ups Physical Morbidity Risks

by U.S. Medicine

July 7, 2017

PHILADELPHIA—Antipsychotic (AP) use in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients is associated with increased physical morbidity, according to a study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.1

The study, led by researchers from the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Philadelphia VAMC, utilized VHA data from 1999-2010 to examine physical morbidity risk associated with AP use in idiopathic PD patients with stable recent physical health.

The study team compared 180-day morbidity rates in patients initiating an AP with matched non-AP users who survived for 180 days. The 6,679 PD pairs were matched on a range of factors, including age, sex, race, index year, presence and duration of dementia, PD duration, delirium, hospitalization, Charlson Comorbidity Index and new nonpsychiatric medications.

To determine outcomes, the researchers tracked 180-day emergency department (ED), and inpatient and outpatient visits.

Results indicated that any AP use was associated with an increased risk of ED visit, for a hazard ratio of 1.64; inpatient care (1.58) and outpatient visits (1.08). The risk was significantly higher for atypical AP use compared with nonuse for all three morbidity outcomes, although it was similar for atypical and typical AP use.

“Any AP use, and atypical AP use, are associated with significantly increased physical morbidity risk in PD patients, as evidenced by increased ED, inpatient, and outpatient visits,” study authors concluded. “These findings, which require replication, extend the risk associated with use of APs in this population from mortality to a broader range of adverse outcomes, and further highlight the need to use APs cautiously in PD patients.”

Weintraub D, Chiang C, Kim HM, Wilkinson J, Marras C, Stanislawski B, Mamikonyan E, Kales HC. Antipsychotic Use and Physical Morbidity in Parkinson’s Disease. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Feb 2. pii: S1064-7481(17)30093-3. doi:

10.1016/j.jagp.2017.01.076. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28259697.

Comments are closed here.

Related Articles

Technology Experts Question MISSION Act Electronic Systems

WASHINGTON—VA is working under a tight deadline to implement the community care provisions of the MISSION Act, the new law that goes into effect this summer and revises and codifies access standards for veterans receiving... View Article

VA Study Raises Questions About Value of Readmission Metrics

SAN FRANCISCO—While the VA performs well overall on key 30-day readmission rates, a study by researchers at the San Francisco VAMC questioned the utility of the measures for most of the health system’s hospitals. The... View Article

U.S. Medicine Recommends

More From neurology


Physical Fitness Associated With Lower Parkinson’s Rates

While exercise is important physical therapy for Parkinson's disease, it might be more than that.


Increasing Usage of SSRIs for Dementia Symptoms

Emerging data has suggested effectiveness for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.


Rural Veterans With MS Benefit from Clinical Video Telehealth Rehabilitation

Of the more than 28,000 veterans with multiple sclerosis (MS) who receive care at the VHA, almost 45% of them live in rural or highly rural areas, a recent conference presentation pointed out.


Algorithm Proposed to Improve Detection of MS Lesions

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is considered crucial for in vivo detection and characterization of white matter lesions (WMLs) in multiple sclerosis.


Many Survey Respondents Say Marijuana Is Good for MS

Despite insufficient evidence regarding its risks and benefits, marijuana is increasingly available and aggressively marketed to the public, according to a new study which sought to understand the public's views on the risks and benefits of marijuana use.

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up