Breaking News
January 24, 2019 - Cancer Research UK announces £60 million funding to tackle global cancer challenges
January 24, 2019 - SCHILLER AED FRED easyport helped save life of elderly person in Vienna
January 24, 2019 - Pittcon to highlight UHPLC techniques at 30th James L. Waters symposium
January 24, 2019 - Global task force of bone health experts question effectiveness of spinal fusion procedures
January 24, 2019 - Study demonstrates beneficial effects of influenza vaccination on COPD patients
January 24, 2019 - New findings challenge existing strategies for fighting infectious diseases and germs
January 24, 2019 - Study sheds new light on male infertility
January 24, 2019 - Rebound Therapeutics announces FDA 510k clearance of its AURORA Surgiscope System
January 24, 2019 - 3D printing may aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis
January 24, 2019 - Most gay fathers and their kids face stigma despite legal and social advances, finds study
January 24, 2019 - Melanoma Survival Varies Among U.S. States
January 24, 2019 - Migraine – Genetics Home Reference
January 24, 2019 - Is that really a neglected disease?
January 24, 2019 - Study offers new hope for elimination of malaria
January 24, 2019 - Mice transmit brain benefits of enriched upbringing to non-enriched offspring
January 24, 2019 - Researchers demonstrate strong evidence connecting bacterial pathogen and Alzheimer’s pathogenesisis
January 24, 2019 - Overprescribing of antidepressants may occur more often in elderly patients
January 24, 2019 - FDA authorizes marketing of new test to aid in the diagnosis of M. gen. infections
January 24, 2019 - Health Tip: Simple CPR – Drugs.com MedNews
January 24, 2019 - Diabetes in America, 3rd Edition
January 24, 2019 - Bangladesh ‘Tree Man’ returns to hospital as condition worsens
January 24, 2019 - Costs of gun-related hospitalizations, readmissions examined in study
January 24, 2019 - Good health literacy linked to better adherence to blood pressure medications among Hispanics
January 24, 2019 - Only a minority of patients in the U.S. with type 1 diabetes achieve treatment goals
January 24, 2019 - High fat reduces efficiency of the immune system to fight infectious disease
January 24, 2019 - FDA grants clearance to Hologic’s assay for detection of common sexually transmitted infections
January 24, 2019 - Study highlights need for reliable therapeutic targets for prevention, treatment of cardiovascular diseases
January 24, 2019 - Next step toward replacement therapy in type 1 diabetes
January 24, 2019 - “Scientific serendipity” identifies link between type of RNA and autism
January 24, 2019 - Trump Zeroes In On Surprise Medical Bills In White House Chat With Patients, Experts
January 24, 2019 - Unique form of chronic sinusitis found in older patients
January 24, 2019 - NUS researchers make muscle recovery easier for patients with ingenious medical device
January 24, 2019 - Specific cognitive deficits found in individuals with spinal cord injury
January 24, 2019 - An essential reference for diagnostic ultrasonography and biopsy of the thyroid gland
January 24, 2019 - Proteus Digital Health Launches Digital Oncology Medicines to Improve Patient Outcomes
January 24, 2019 - Study looking to prevent type 1 diabetes follows children into adolescence
January 24, 2019 - Nice doctors make a difference
January 23, 2019 - Blood vessel discovery could advance our knowledge of osteoporosis
January 23, 2019 - New esophageal cancer test uses genetic biomarkers to detect changes in esophagal cells
January 23, 2019 - Study evaluates first-ever Robotic Visualization System for neurosurgery
January 23, 2019 - Scientists reveal new mechanism that could lead to specific treatment of strokes and seizures
January 23, 2019 - Both educational level and occupational orientation predict mother’s smoking during pregnancy
January 23, 2019 - How to (gently) get your child to brush their teeth
January 23, 2019 - Short-term hospital readmissions for gun injuries cost $86 million a year | News Center
January 23, 2019 - New certified reference material for testing residual solvents in cannabis
January 23, 2019 - Gene-edited chickens could prevent future flu pandemic
January 23, 2019 - Cardiovascular disease risk begins even before birth
January 23, 2019 - Younger patients receiving kidney transplant more likely to live longer, shows data
January 23, 2019 - Skin samples hold early signs of prion disease, research suggests
January 23, 2019 - Researchers discover how body initiates repair mechanisms that limits damage to myelin sheath
January 23, 2019 - Fecal transplant from certain donors better than others
January 23, 2019 - Risk for Uninsurance in AMI Patients Reduced With Medicaid Expansion
January 23, 2019 - Readmissions reduction program may be associated with increase in patient-level mortality
January 23, 2019 - Fostering translation and communication in medicine and beyond
January 23, 2019 - To Fight Fatty Liver, Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
January 23, 2019 - TPU scientists develop new implants that double the rate of bone lengthening in kids
January 23, 2019 - New sessions at Pittcon 2019
January 23, 2019 - Insilico to present latest findings in AI for Drug Discovery at 3rd Annual SABPA FTD Forum
January 23, 2019 - Opioid overdose patients can be safely discharged an hour after administration of naloxone
January 23, 2019 - Scientists find bacterial extracellular vesicles in human blood
January 23, 2019 - Researchers use modified type of flu virus to develop new therapies for prostate cancer
January 23, 2019 - Researchers gain new insights into development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies
January 23, 2019 - Medical expert advises people with epilepsy not to stockpile medicines
January 23, 2019 - CDC study explores link between smoking and clinical outcomes of assisted reproductive technology
January 23, 2019 - Study outlines research priorities for improving pediatric patient care and safety
January 23, 2019 - Bedfont to exhibit NObreath FeNO monitor at Arab Health 2019
January 23, 2019 - Nicotinamide riboside supplementation confers significant physiological benefits to mothers and offspring
January 23, 2019 - Increasing temperatures may help preserve crop nutrition
January 23, 2019 - Many Oncologists in the Dark About LGBTQ Health Needs
January 23, 2019 - Epigenetic change causes fruit fly babies to inherit diet-induced heart disease
January 23, 2019 - Erasing memories could reduce relapse rates among drug addicts
January 23, 2019 - African Americans who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop peripheral artery disease
January 23, 2019 - Unique data combination helps FinnGen researchers to fund links between genetic factors and health
January 23, 2019 - Parents’ mental health problems associated with reactive attachment disorder in children
January 23, 2019 - Graphene Flagship project studies impact of graphene and related materials on our health
January 23, 2019 - The connection between the Pope and contraceptive pills
January 23, 2019 - Prior dengue infection could protect children from symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - Previous dengue virus infection associated with protection from symptomatic Zika
January 23, 2019 - VISTA checkpoint implicated in pancreatic cancer immunotherapy resistance
January 23, 2019 - The Tiny Camera That Could Revolutionize Cardiovascular Surgery
Common class of drugs linked to dementia even when taken 20 years before diagnosis

Common class of drugs linked to dementia even when taken 20 years before diagnosis

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Pill bottle. Credit: CDC/Public domain

The largest and most detailed study of the long-term impact of anticholinergic drugs, a class of drugs commonly prescribed in the United States and United Kingdom as antidepressants and incontinence medications, has found that their use is associated with increased risk of dementia, even when taken 20 years before diagnosis of cognitive impairment.

An international research team from the US, UK and Ireland analyzed more than 27 million prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over age 65 diagnosed with dementia compared to the records of 283,933 older adults without dementia.

The researchers found greater incidence of dementia among patients prescribed anticholinergic antidepressants, anticholinergic bladder medications and anticholinergic Parkinson’s disease medications than among older adults who were not prescribed these drugs.

Dementia increased with greater exposure to anticholinergic medications.

“Anticholinergic Medication and Risk of Dementia: Case-control Study” is published in BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) an international peer-reviewed medical journal.

“Anticholinergics, medications that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have previously been implicated as a potential cause of cognitive impairment,” said Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research investigator Noll Campbell, PharmD, MS, a co-author of the new BMJ study. “This study is large enough to evaluate the long-term effect and determine that harm may be experienced years before a diagnosis of dementia is made.” Dr. Campbell is also an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Purdue University College of Pharmacy.

“These findings make it clear that clinicians need to carefully consider the anticholinergic burden of their patients and weigh other options,” said study co-author Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, a Regenstrief Institute and IU Center for Aging Research investigator. Dr. Boustani is the founder of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science and the Richard M. Fairbanks Professor of Aging Research at IU School of Medicine.

“Physicians should review all the anticholinergic medications – including over-the-counter drugs – that patients of all ages are taking and determine safe ways to take individuals off anticholinergic medications in the interest of preserving brain health,” Dr. Boustani said.

The study, which was led by the University of East Anglia and funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, both in the UK, utilized data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink which includes anonymized diagnosis, referral and prescription records for more than 11 million patients from 674 primary care practices across the UK. The data is broadly representative of the UK population in terms of age, sex and ethnicity.

“This research is really important because there are an estimated 350 million people affected globally by depression. Bladder conditions requiring treatment are estimated to affect over 13 percent of men and 30 percent of women in the UK and US,” said study lead researcher George Savva, PhD, visiting researcher at University of East Anglia’s School of Health Sciences.

“We don’t know exactly how anticholinergics might cause dementia,” said study co-author Chris Fox, MD, professor of clinical psychiatry at UEA’s Norwich Medical School and a consultant psychiatrist. “Further research is needed to understand possible reasons for this link. In the meantime, I strongly advise patients with any concerns to continue taking their medicines until they have consulted their doctor or pharmacist.”

Study co-author Ian Maidment, PhD, senior lecturer in clinical pharmacy at Aston University in the UK, said: “With many medicines having some anticholinergic activity, one key focus should be de-prescribing. Clinical staff, patients and carers need to work together collaboratively to limit the potential harm associated with anticholinergics.”


Explore further:
Older adults often prescribed meds linked to higher side effect risks

More information:
Kathryn Richardson et al. Anticholinergic drugs and risk of dementia: case-control study, BMJ (2018). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.k1315

Editorial: Anticholinergic drugs and dementia in older adults, www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1722

Journal reference:
British Medical Journal (BMJ)

Provided by:
Regenstrief Institute

About author

Related Articles