The government has pledged to reduce the number of antipsychotic drugs prescribed to people with dementia by two-thirds in the next 12 months. Also known as a chemical cosh, the drugs are administered to help calm down dementia patients, although research chaos that they have no benefit in fighting the disease. It has also been noted that they can double the risk of death for people living with dementia. While sometimes this kind of medication may be required, inappropriate prescription of these kinds of drugs has, according to the Alzheimer's Society, reached "scandalous" levels. The charity's interim chief executive Ruth Sutherland said: "We are delighted to see the government back up its previous assurances by setting a firm deadline. "These drugs have been found to double the risk of death and treble the risk of stroke so ensuring this commitment is met is essential." According to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, 163,000 new cases of dementia occur in England and Wales each year - one every 3.2 minutes.
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