A new study found that some drugs may increase dementia risk if taken for prolonged periods of time. British researchers found that people who take large amounts of anticholinergics are more likely to develop the debilitating disease.
Anticholinergics are a class of drugs that can treat Parkinson’s disease, depression, and bladder issues. In the U.K, up to 2 million people are been prescribed the medication for one of the said conditions.
Study authors, however, do not advise patients taking those drugs to stop as the risks are usually outweighed by the benefits.
The study revealed no side-effects in anticholinergic drugs when [prescribed to treat less severe conditions like stomach pain, travel sickness, or hay fever.
The findings appeared this week in the British Medical Journal. During their research, scientists sifted through health data on more than 40,000 adult patients who had been diagnosed with dementia.
Researchers compared the findings with data on more than 280,000 adult patients without the condition. The team also looked at over 27 million anticholinergic prescriptions.
Patients Should Not Stop Taking Medication
The main role of the drugs, which are sometimes available on prescription, is to block acetylcholine in the brain.
Patients who are already taking the medications should not panic, researchers said. Dr. Ian Maidment advises those patients not to stop taking the pills abruptly. They should go and talk to their pharmacist or doctor instead.
Maidment warned that ditching the medication could lead to severe consequences. For instance, people can die from depression if they stop taking their meds.
Alzheimer’s Society noted that the dementia risk from poor lifestyle choices is considerably higher than the risk tied to taking anticholinergics. AS researchers, who were not involved in the study, underlined that it remains unclear which patients taking those drugs are at a higher risk and which aren’t.
Image Source: Flickr
Latest posts by Anne-Marie Jackson (see all)
- SF Hospital Slaps New Parents with $19K Bill for Baby Treatment - Mar 12, 2019
- Furious Trump Blasts Harley-Davidson for Moving Production Overseas - Mar 12, 2019
- Warning! MRI Machines Could Poison You - Mar 12, 2019