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Older adults on RX meds increase dementia odds: study



A new study showed that older adults prescribed antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinics, antipsychotics and antiepileptic drugs are at higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia.

The investigation. Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday, previous research confirms that links prescription drugs and dementia.

According to this new study, an adult who daily took an anticholinergic drug for at least three years daily had a 50% higher chance of being diagnosed with dementia.

"The study is important because it strengthens a growing number of evidence showing that strong anticholinergic drugs have long-term dementia risk associations," Carol Coupland, a professor of medical statistics in primary science at the University of Nottingham, who -Wrote the study, said. .

"It also highlights the types of anticholinergic substances that have the strongest associations. This is important information that doctors can know when considering prescribing these drugs," she said and added, "this is an observation study so that it cannot Concrete conclusions on whether these anticholinergics cause dementia. "

: 10 treatment causes of dementia

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10 treatment causes of dementia

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The Wrong meds

Although you do not get enough sleep, it can cause memory problems, take prescriptions and over-the-counter aids can cause symptoms that mimic dementia. "There are some medicines that can cause confusion and make dementia worse," says Mollie Scott, PharmD, Regional Associate Dean at the University of North Carolina's Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Common medicines that do this are medicines with anticholinergic properties. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications have these properties, including those that treat incontinence and COPD, as well as some antihistamines, sleep medications and antidepressants, Scott says. A common offender is diphenhydramine, which is found in Benadryl and over-the-counter aids such as ZzzQuil and Unisom. "Older adults often use these without realizing that they can adversely affect memory, cause constipation, and cause urinary retention," Scott says. "I have recently seen a woman in the 70s who was very worried about her memory, but it turned out she could not sleep and took 50 mg of diphenhydramine at bedtime. When she stopped taking the medication, the symptoms improved. " Learn how much sleep can also increase your risk of dementia.

Urinary tract infections

The typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) fever, pain and urgency – are often lacking in older people, and if left untreated, can cause symptoms that mimic dementia, such as delirium, confusion, agitation and hallucinations. "At nursing homes and hospitals, UTI is fierce, and many patients are thought to have a sudden outbreak of dementia," James says. "If they get an antibiotic, the symptoms will go away, but unless you are a nurse or doctor, you won't necessarily know this and if you are not treated, you may get an infection." Fever along with the other side effects people experience when their bodies fight for infections, such as Lyme disease, meningitis and encephalitis, can also cause dementia-like symptoms.

Hearing Loss

A number of recent studies have shown a link between hearing loss and dementia, and some experts believe that interventions such as professionally equipped hearing aids can potentially delay or prevent dementia. One study found that hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults, and that hearing loss seniors are more likely to develop dementia over time than those who maintain their hearing, while another study showed a correlation between hearing loss and accelerated brain tissue loss. . "You hear" with your brain, not your ears, "says Carole Rogin, HIA president of the Hearing Industries Association (HIA). Unaddressed hearing loss not only affects the listener's ability to perceive sound accurately, but it also affects higher level cognitive function. explains Rogin. It specifically interferes with the listener's ability to accurately treat the audible information and make sense. "The latest research tells us that even with mild hearing loss, there may be a cognitive brain drain that can take away resources from remembering what you have heard, "says Rogin. Here are some more habits that reduce the risk of dementia.

Water on the brain

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that causes the heart cancer in the brain Being magnified may cause water problems, urinary problems and memory loss, according to the Hydrocephalus Association, more than 700,000 Americans have NPH, but less than 20 percent receive one appropriate diagnosis that causes them to become misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. "It is referred to as water in the brain, the condition is a build-up of cerebral fluid that causes pressure and that pressure is exerted on the brain tissue and causes problems," James says. "If left untreated, it can cause long-term dementia, but if doctors can use a shunt system and remove the fluid, the person's symptoms may improve."

Depression

People with depression sometimes get a condition called pseudodementia, a type of cognitive impairment that mimics dementia, but is actually caused by mental health (such as depression) rather than in the central nervous system. "The brain is the last explored border, and not everything is understood in the medical community about the link between dementia and depression," James says. Study shows that the condition typically seen in older adults can be reversed if the depression is treated. "Depression can make the brain less effective and cause cognitive flooding and confusion and decision-making difficulties," said Dylan Wint, MD, director of education in neurodegenerative disorders and director of community of cognitive disorders for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. "There are also signs that important memory structures in the brain may shrink during episodes of depression. It is unclear what causes this decrease, but the structures appear to recover when the episode of depression is resolved."

Trauma

"Stroke, head injuries, concussions, all that physically happens to the brain is a risk factor for dementia because it affects the brain tissue structure," James says. Head injuries caused by sports or car accidents in younger adults and those caused by falls, especially in the elderly, can cause sub-hematoma (hemorrhage and brain covering) and can cause dementia-like symptoms such as memory loss and confusion. While some trauma can lead to permanent brain damage, research shows that these symptoms can be reversed with medication or surgery. Learn the daily habits of people with extraordinary memory.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Most of us get sufficient amounts of vitamin B-12 from the foods we eat-dairy, eggs, meat and fish. However, some people have a vitamin B-12 deficiency caused by a rare condition, called pernicious anemia, that if not treated, it can cause symptoms that mimic dementia. People with this condition cannot absorb vitamin B-12 from the foods they eat and the deficiency can lead to confusion, irritability and apathy. Fortunately, regular B-12 injections can alleviate the deficiency and alleviate the symptoms. Other deficiencies that can cause symptoms of dementia include dehydration, not getting enough of B-1 or B-6 vitamins, or getting too little or too much sodium or calcium. Research has also shown a link between insufficient amounts of vitamin D and dementia. "In the United States these deficiencies are most often caused by having a diet that is poor in variety and / or quality, such as eating junk food all the time," says Wint. "This may be due to lack of knowledge, psychiatric disorder, drug use or other conditions." These are the symptoms of a vitamin B-12 deficiency you need to know.

Heart and lung problems

Poor cardiovascular health such as e.g. Arteriosclerosis (often called "inhibition of the arteries") or something that prevents good blood flow or too much blood flow to the brain (mini stroke) can put people at increased risk of memory failure and dementia, James says. "If you have good cardiovascular health, you are more likely to have good cognitive health." After a heart-healthy diet like the Mediterranean, diet has been shown to lower cognitive decline and reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. In addition, another study shows that impaired lung function and chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which may limit oxygen levels to the brain, may increase the risk of memory loss and dementia. However, early intervention and treatment of COPD may help to delay or even prevent the occurrence of dementia. Here's why the Mediterranean diet is so good for aging brains.

Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes. Diabetes causes the body's blood sugar (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal (also called hyperglycaemia), and when these levels become too high or too low (hypoglycaemia), studies have shown that people with the condition may experience memory loss and other dementia-like symptoms. In many cases, adjusting sugar levels may reverse the problem, but having diabetes may increase the risk of developing long-term memory problems and it has been associated with Alzheimer's disease. "Alzheimer's disease is often called" type III diabetes, "says James. This is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's.

Alcohol abuse

While alcohol abuse destroys brain cells in areas that are critical to memory, decision making and balance, people who Abuse alcohol, experience dementia-like symptoms because they suffer from a vitamin deficiency. (Do you drink too much? How to recognize the safest amount of alcohol to drink.) Thiamin (B-1) helps brain cells produce energy, but when levels fall too low , brain cells cannot generate enough energy to function properly Result is called Korsakoff syndrome. "Thiamine is depleted in people who abuse alcohol, explains James, and diamine deficiency leads to memory loss, confusion and other cognitive challenges." While quitting drinking , it will not automatically alleviate the situation, James says. In some cases, the effects can be transformed or avoided all if you maintain older a healthy lifestyle. "It is estimated that up to one-third of dementia risk can be avoided by regular exercise, maintaining active mental life, preventing diabetes, avoiding smoking, eliminating high blood pressure, treating depression, and using minimal or moderate alcohol (1-2 drinks a day) , "says Wint. These are the daily habits that increase the risk of dementia.




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The researchers found no similar relationship between other types of common prescriptions such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants and various gastrointestinal drugs.

The researchers did not find an explicit causal link between the drug and the disease, but said several research methods could link these dots.

Meanwhile dr. Douglas Scharre, director of the division of cognitive neurology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, who was not involved in the study, said the patients should talk to their doctors about possibly switching to new drugs.

"Many times there may be another substance out there that has less anticholinergic effect or is non-anticholinergic that can work," Scharre said.


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