Social prescribing 'beats drugs' for depression in dementia

A range of interventions, including exercise and animal therapy, can help those with mild depressive symptoms, researchers say

Non-drug therapies appear to be as good as, if not better than, medication for reducing depressive symptoms in patients with dementia, a systematic review suggests. 

The finding is timely, the researchers say, with evidence increasing for a link between anti­depressant use in patients with dementia and harms from falls, including fracture.

The team, led by the University of Toronto in Canada, analysed data from 256 studies involving a total of 28,000 patients in the first major systematic