Dementia linked to everyday over-the-counter drugs?

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A new report released today suggests people taking common over the counter medications like those for hay fever or sleeping tablets may be at increased chance of developing dementia! The report is based on research at the University of Washington where the over counter medication taking of 3000 patients was monitored over a period 7 years.

 

anticholinergics and dementia

 

 

Over the counter preparations like those for hay fever tend to have an “anticholinergic effect”, meaning they block the brain chemical Acetylcholine. This is the same chemical which is lacking in patients who suffer with Alzheimers dementia. According to the study results; those taking high doses of anticholinergic drugs the risk of developing dementia was 54% higher.

 

Dr Simon Ridley of Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “This large study adds to some existing evidence linking anticholinergic drugs to a small increased risk of dementia, but the results don’t tell us that these drugs cause the condition.”

 

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