Anticholinergics and Cognitive Impairment

Retrospective study finds that the long-term (just 2 months) use of anticholinergics increases the risk of developing cognitive impairment but it did not increase the risk of developing dementia.

Alzheimer’s patients may be particularly at risk since the condition often disrupts sleep patterns which are then treated with anticholinergics.

What kind of OTC’s contain anticholinergics? Drugs that treat allergies, motion sickness, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, incontinence and antipsychotics.

http://www.alzheimersanddementia.com/article/S1552-5260(12)00081-7/abstract

Long-term anticholinergic use and the aging brain

Background

Older Americans are facing an epidemic of chronic diseases and are thus exposed to anticholinergics (ACs) that might negatively affect their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.

Objective

To investigate the association between impairment in cognitive function and previous AC exposure.

Outcome

Cognitive function was measured in two sequential steps: a two-step screening process followed by a formal diagnostic process for participants with positive screening results.

Exposure

Three patterns of AC exposure were defined by the duration of AC exposure, the number of AC medications dispensed at the same time, and the severity of AC effects as determined by the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden list.

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  1. Pingback: Night Shift Workers Double Their Risk of Breast Cancer | Animal Abstracts

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