Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Common drugs tied to increased risk of cognitive decline

From the September 2, 2020 American Academy of Neurology Press Release
https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/3818

MINNEAPOLIS – A class of drugs used for many conditions, including allergies, colds, high blood pressure and depression, may be associated with an increased risk of developing mild thinking and memory problems, particularly in people who have genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease or markers of this condition, according to a study published in the September 2, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. These types of drugs, called anticholinergic drugs, are used for motion sickness, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, Parkinson’s disease and high blood pressure. There are approximately 100 such drugs in widespread use, with some requiring a prescription and many others that may be purchased over-the-counter. The study found that cognitively normal people taking at least one anticholinergic drug were 47% more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia, over the next decade than people who were not taking such drugs.





Of the 230 people who were taking anticholinergic drugs, 117 people, or 51%, later developed mild cognitive impairment, compared to 192 people, or 42%, of the 458 people who were not taking the drugs. After adjusting for depression, number of medications being taken, and history of cardiac problems, individuals taking at least one anticholinergic drug had a 47% increased risk for developing mild cognitive impairment. Furthermore, those with higher overall exposure to anticholinergic drugs had additional increased risk. Researchers also looked at whether people had had biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in their cerebrospinal fluid or had genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

Read the entire article at https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/3818

September 3, 2020 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , ,

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