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.
Long-term anticholinergic use and the aging brain
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.
To investigate the association between impairment in cognitive function and previous AC exposure.
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.
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.