Long term use of certain medications may increase dementia risk in older generation
Drugs which are used to treat a wide range of conditions from depression to epilepsy to incontinence may increase a person's risk of dementia, a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine has declared.
The medications in question are mainly used for muscle relaxation, and doctors may prescribe them to help treat bladder conditions, gastrointestinal problems, and some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
The drugs include the antipsychotic clozapine; the bladder drug Darifenacin (marketed as Enablex); the anti-nausea drug Scopolamine; the bronchodilator Ipratropium; the muscle relaxant Tizanidine; antihistamines such as Diphenhydramine (brand names includeBenadryl), and antidepressants such as Paroxetine (brand names include Paxil).
Study reveals that all these medications work by halting the work process of a chemical messenger called acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine acts as a neurotransmitter and is involved in many nervous system functions including muscular movements, heart rate, widening of blood vessels, respiratory functions and stomach digestion.
Older adults are more likely to be prescribed many of these medications, simply because they tend to have more issues, the study concluded.