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Niklas Schmedt receives the GMDS-grant in the area Epidemiology

Master thesis on side effects of antipsychotics in elderly with dementia


Excellent young researcher at BIPS: With his outstanding Master thesis in Public Health, BIPS-employee Niklas Schmedt impressed the jury of the GMDS-sponsorship.

With his work, Schmedt was able to show that the use of antipsychotics to treat elderly people suffering from dementia is associated with an increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE).  Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism were particularly observed during the first three months of treatment and in patients who took atypical as well as conventional antipsychotics at the same time. The risk of developing VTE increased in these two groups by more than 60%. Schmedt analysed anonymised data of more than 1000 VTE patients and compared their use of antipsychotics with more than 4000 persons not suffering from VTE. 

Based on this study and existing safety concerns, he concludes that the prescription of antipsychotics for elderly suffering from dementia should be done only under strict indications, when other therapies have failed.

Niklas Schmedt, who has been at the BIPS since February 2012, wrote his Master thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Edeltraut Garbe, Head of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at BIPS. The presentation of the prize will take place in September 2012 during the annual conference of the German Association for Medical Information, Biometry and Epidemiology e.V. (GMDS).

Niklas Schmedt:  The use of antipsychotics and the risk of venous thromboembolism in elderly with dementia. University of Bremen, January 2012.Niklas Schmedt: Der Gebrauch von Antipsychotika und das Risiko für venöse Thromboembolien bei Älteren mit Demenz. Universität Bremen, Januar 2012.