Long-term use of some common medications may be associated with an increased risk of dementia. The researchers found a statistically significant relationship amid dementia and anticholinergic exposure, in particular antidepressants, anti-parkinsonians, antipsychotics, and bladder antimuscarinics, used to treat urinary incontinence, according to an observational study published by the pear.
The researchers analyzed data from 2004 to 2016 for 284,343 patients in England aged 55 years or older. They found an increased risk of dementia by nearly 50% in connection with exposure to more than 1,095 daily doses of anticholinergics for 10 Years, corresponding to three years of daily use of a single anticholinergic for seniors.
Adverse effects should be considered in addition to benefits when such medications are prescribed and, where possible, alternative treatments should be considered, stated by the authors. We have seen a greater boost in the risk for people with dementia at age 80, indicating that anticholinergic drugs should be prescribed with caution in elderly and middle-aged people.
As usual with these studies, the researchers stated that they could not establish a cause and effect relationship. If this were causal, it was noted that it would mean that about one in 10 diagnoses of dementia could be attributed to anticholinergic exposure.
The most recent study was not the first to establish links between anticholinergics and dementia. For example, research published in the same journal in 2015 showed that increased cumulative anticholinergic use is related to an increased risk of dementia.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5.8 Million people in the United States, of whom 5.6 Million are 65 Years of age or older, have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. According to the CDC, this prevalence is estimated to reach 14 Million by 2060, with the Latin American and African American population experiencing the largest increases.
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