Commonly prescribe medications, including antidepressants, antiepileptic and bladder antimuscarinics may be linked to dementia, according to a U.K. study.
The classes of anticholinergic medications showed to increase the odds of developing dementia by about 50 percent, the observational study concluded.
Some of the drugs work by preventing a neurotransmitter, from entering the nervous system and can assist with muscle relaxation. These are also used to treat allergies, pulmonary disease, bladder conditions and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
The study points out that the risks are associated with long-term use, over a decade. The findings add to the body of evidence that strong anticholinergic drugs can have long-term dementia risk. It’s also important to know that this study is not definitive in nature, but delivers clues to possible associations between the drugs and dementia symptoms.
These types of studies add to our understanding of the links, prevention and treatment of this terrible illness. While on the surface this is uneasy news to read, it’s important to understand that we are constantly learning more about this disease and how to care for those with it.