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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 »

Does marijuana use cause schizophrenia? (unclear, but unlikely)

Does Mar­i­jua­na Use Cause Schiz­o­phre­nia? (The New York Times):

… The con­cern is focused large­ly on the link between heavy usage and psy­chosis in young peo­ple. Doc­tors first sus­pect­ed a link some 70 years ago, and the evi­dence has only accu­mu­lat­ed since then. In a forth­com­ing book, “Tell Your Chil­dren,” Alex Beren­son, a for­mer Times reporter, argues that legal­iza­tion is putting a gen­er­a­tion at high­er risk of schiz­o­phre­nia and oth­er psy­chot­ic syn­dromes. Crit­ics, includ­ing lead­ing researchers, have called the argu­ment overblown, and unfaith­ful to the sci­ence Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Common medication treatments for PTSD can increase the risk of developing dementia

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Drugs for PTSD linked to increased risk of demen­tia (The Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Jour­nal):

Cer­tain psy­chotrop­ic drugs used to treat post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) increase the risk of devel­op­ing demen­tia, includ­ing in patients who do not have PTSD but take the drugs for oth­er con­di­tions, study results pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Geri­atrics Soci­ety Read the rest of this entry »

Therapy or antidepressants? Coming soon: Brain activity “fingerprints” to personalize depression treatments

mental health.

To Treat Depres­sion, Drugs or Ther­a­py? (The New York Times):

Until recent­ly, many experts thought that your clin­i­cian could lit­er­al­ly pick any anti­de­pres­sant or type of psy­chother­a­py at ran­dom because, with a few clin­i­cal excep­tions, there was lit­tle evi­dence to favor one treat­ment over anoth­er for a giv­en patient Read the rest of this entry »

The New York Times starts to pay attention: Exercising The Mind to Treat Attention Deficits

mind_childExer­cis­ing The Mind to Treat Atten­tion Deficits (The New York Times):

Poor plan­ning, wan­der­ing atten­tion and trou­ble inhibit­ing impuls­es all sig­ni­fy laps­es in cog­ni­tive con­trol. Now a grow­ing stream of research sug­gests that strength­en­ing this men­tal mus­cle, usu­al­ly with exer­cis­es in Read the rest of this entry »

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