Intended for healthcare professionals


Benzodiazepines and dementia . . . and other stories

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 07 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1726

Dementia, benzodiazepines, and Z-drugs

A longitudinal study of a quarter of a million adults in Denmark who had an affective disorder diagnosed for the first time between 1996 and 2015 finds that about three quarters had used benzodiazepines or Z-drugs. Over six years of follow-up they were no more likely to develop dementia than people who had never used them (Am J Psych doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.19030315). Further analysis using an estimate of cumulative dose of benzodiazepines or Z-drugs, and by subgroups of long and short acting drugs, also failed to show any increased risk of dementia.

Gestalt diagnosis

In German, Gestalt means form or shape. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Gestalt school of psychology explored the idea that perception involved appreciating the whole pattern rather than its components. Recognising a tune, for example, has little to do with identification of the pitch and …

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