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Dementia's delusions could have a rational basis

Dementia's delusions could have a rational basis
28th March 2012

The delusions experienced by patients with dementia could have a "rational" basis and administering psychotropic drugs to prevent them could be harmful, according to a recent study.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University claim that behavioural therapy could be more beneficial to treating delusions and understanding the nature of the episodes could help doctors better tailor care.

Leader of the study Professor Jiska Cohen-Mansfield also claims that understanding delusions has implications for the perception of who those who suffer with dementia.

The findings were the result of investigations into six common categories of delusion among 74 adults with dementia.

Researchers questioned caregivers about the nature of delusions and assessed patient's mental state.

It was revealed that more often than not delusions had logical explanations, such as a relic from something that occurred previously in the patient's life.

"If you begin to think about these delusions from the point of view of the dementia patient, you begin to understand that their delusions are explainable reflections of the reality they live in," said Professor Cohen-Mansfield.

This knowledge can help caregivers manage delusions when they occur by working through the trauma with patients.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.