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Research Grants - 2007


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Research Grants 2007


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.

2007 Grant - Thomas


Medication Use and Functioning in Patients With Dementia

Joseph Thomas, Ph.D.
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

2007 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

As people age, their reaction to medication can change. The problem for people with dementia is even greater since doctors do not want to prescribe drugs that further impair a person's cognitive function. Most studies that have looked at negative effects of medication use among older people have not focused in particular on people with dementia.

Dr. Joseph Thomas, Ph.D., and his team will study the effect of a group of drugs called anticholinergics, which may exacerbate dementia symptoms. They will be looking in particular at the impact on cognitive function and daily life for Medicaid recipients living in nursing homes by creating a database of information from both Medicaid and nursing home records.

The findings will identify medications and patient characteristics that put patients at the greatest risk for declines in cognitive function or for a negative impact on their daily lives. The conclusions will be shared with scientists, policy analysts, Medicaid officials and healthcare practitioners, with the goal of developing approaches to prescribing medication that have the best effect on patients. This may, in turn, improve the quality of living for patients and reduce the cost of their care.