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

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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 Read the rest of this entry »

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