New research by scientists from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom has analyzed the connection between a specific class of drugs and the danger of dementia.
The drugs being referred to, called anticholinergics, work by inhibiting a chemical messenger called acetylcholine.
Their impact is to help unwind or contract muscles, and specialists can recommend them to help treat bladder conditions, gastrointestinal issues, and a portion of the indications of Parkinson’s disease.
In their new study, which took a gander at information from a huge number of members, the specialists inferred that anticholinergics may build an individual’s risk of creating dementia.
The National Institute for Health Research financed this study, and the researchers distributed their discoveries yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
An almost 50% increase in risk
For their study, lead scientist Prof. Song Coupland and group investigated the medicinal records of 58,769 individuals with dementia and 225,574 individuals without dementia. They were each of the 55 years of age or above at baseline.
Among those with dementia, 63% were ladies and the normal age was 82. For every individual with dementia, the specialists discovered five control matches of a similar age and sex and who went to a similar general practice to get medical care
Prof. Coupland and associates sourced the information from the QResearch database and saw restorative records from between January 1, 2004 and January 31, 2016.
The researchers found that anticholinergic drugs in general were associated with a higher risk of dementia. More specifically, however, anticholinergic antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, bladder drugs, and epilepsy drugs were associated with the highest increase in risk.
Among these, the most much of the time prescribed medications were antidepressants, against vertigo medications, and bladder antimuscarinic drugs (for the treatment of overactive bladders).
These outcomes stayed even after the researchers controlled for perplexing factors (or realized hazard factors for dementia), including weight list (BMI), smoking status, liquor use, cardiovascular issues, and the utilization of other medicine, such as antihypertensive drugs.
All things considered, the specialists inferred that individuals matured 55 or over who had taken solid anticholinergics regularly for in any event 3 years had a practically half higher shot of creating dementia than individuals who had not utilized this sort of medication.
“This study provides further evidence that doctors should be careful when prescribing certain drugs that have anticholinergic properties,” explains study co-author Prof. Tom Dening.
“However,” he warns, “it’s important that [people] taking medications of this kind don’t just stop them abruptly, as this may be much more harmful. If [people] have concerns, then they should discuss them with their doctor to consider the pros and cons of the treatment they are receiving.”
‘Risks should be carefully considered’
‘Dangers ought to be painstakingly considered’
To survey the quality of anticholinergic drugs and how frequently the members took them, the group took a gander at accessible data about medicines over a time of 10 years.
Notwithstanding, they note this is an observational study, so they can’t affirm whether the medications are straightforwardly in charge of the expanded danger of dementia.
The analysts include that specialists may have recommended a portion of these drugs to their patients absolutely for the treatment of all around early dementia symptoms.
Nevertheless, Prof. Coupland argues that the “study adds further evidence of the potential risks associated with strong anticholinergic drugs, particularly antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinic drugs, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, and epilepsy drugs.”
“The risks of this type of medication should be carefully considered by healthcare professionals alongside the benefits when the drugs are prescribed and alternative treatments should be considered where possible.”
“These findings also highlight the importance of carrying out regular medication reviews.”
“We found a greater risk for people diagnosed with dementia before the age of 80, which indicates that anticholinergic drugs should be prescribed with caution in middle-aged people as well as in older people,” she concludes.