Long-term Use of Some Drugs Could Increase Your Risk of Dementia

Researchers have found that risk of developing dementia in patients who are exposed to anticholinergic drugs is heightened. Anticholinergic drugs are a wide classification of drugs that involve contraction and relaxation of muscles. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-Parkinson drugs, anti-epilepsy, and drugs for urinary incontinence – antimuscarinics, are among common forms of anticholinergic drugs commonly prescribed.

Researchers analyzed data from 2004 to 2016; Over 280,000 participants were 55 years of age or older. They found that participants who had taken anticholinergic drugs had about a 50% increase in dementia over those who had not taken the drugs.

Researchers also found that there were “greater increases in risk associated with people diagnosed with dementia before the age of 80, which indicates that anticholinergic drugs should be prescribed with caution in middle-aged and older people.”

About 5.8 million people in the U.S. – 5.6 million of whom are 65 and older – live with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence is expected to balloon to 14 million by the year 2060, the CDC says, with Hispanic and African-American populations seeing the greatest increases.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s and has taken anticholinergic drugs, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Brayton Purcell today. You can reach us online or call us toll free at 800-598-0314.

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