Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

First, do no harm? Common anticholinergic meds seen to increase dementia risk

_________

Com­mon­ly Pre­scribed Meds Could Raise Demen­tia Risk (Web­MD):

Doc­tors often pre­scribe anti­cholin­er­gic drugs for a vari­ety of ills. But a new study sug­gests they may increase the risk of demen­tia in old­er patients.

These med­i­cines include every­thing from Benadryl (diphen­hy­dramine) to cer­tain antipsy­chotics and Parkin­son’s meds. They’re used to treat a wide range of oth­er con­di­tions, includ­ing depres­sion, chron­ic obstruc­tive pul­monary dis­ease, over­ac­tive blad­der, aller­gies, and gas­troin­testi­nal dis­or­ders.

Anti­cholin­er­gic drugs help con­tract and relax mus­cles, and work by block­ing acetyl­choline, a chem­i­cal that trans­mits mes­sages in the ner­vous sys­tem … the new British study found that peo­ple aged 55 and old­er who took strong anti­cholin­er­gic med­ica­tions dai­ly for three years or more had a 50% increased risk of demen­tia … Over­all, they study found an increased risk of demen­tia among those who took anti­cholin­er­gic drugs. After account­ing for oth­er risk fac­tors for demen­tia, the researchers con­clud­ed that strong anti­cholin­er­gic meds were asso­ci­at­ed with an increased risk of demen­tia.”

The Study:

Anti­cholin­er­gic Drug Expo­sure and the Risk of Demen­tia (JAMA Inter­nal Med­i­cine). From the Abstract:

Impor­tance: Anti­cholin­er­gic med­i­cines have short-term cog­ni­tive adverse effects, but it is uncer­tain whether long-term use of these drugs is asso­ci­at­ed with an increased risk of demen­tia.

Objec­tive: To assess asso­ci­a­tions between anti­cholin­er­gic drug treat­ments and risk of demen­tia in per­sons 55 years or old­er.

Expo­sures: The pri­ma­ry expo­sure was the total stan­dard­ized dai­ly dos­es (TSDDs) of anti­cholin­er­gic drugs pre­scribed in the 1 to 11 years pri­or to the date of diag­no­sis of demen­tia or equiv­a­lent date in matched con­trols (index date).

Main Out­comes and Mea­sures: Odds ratios (ORs) for demen­tia asso­ci­at­ed with cumu­la­tive expo­sure to anti­cholin­er­gic drugs, adjust­ed for con­found­ing vari­ables.

Con­clu­sions and Rel­e­vance: Expo­sure to sev­er­al types of strong anti­cholin­er­gic drugs is asso­ci­at­ed with an increased risk of demen­tia. These find­ings high­light the impor­tance of reduc­ing expo­sure to anti­cholin­er­gic drugs in mid­dle-aged and old­er peo­ple.

The Study in Context:

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

Search in our archives

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)