A certain kind of medicine that many medical practitioners prescribe their patients has shown to increase the risk of dementia. There are other side-effects as well such as Parkinson’s disease, depression and also bladder related issues. The scientists at the University of Nottingham, in the United Kingdom, have conducted a study which has investigated the connection between a certain kind of drug and risks of dementia. The drug that is being talked about is known as the anticholinergics which trigger a chemical called acetylcholine. This works to relax the muscles by contracting them and professional medical practitioners prescribe them to patients with bladder issues.
In addition to this, they are also prescribed for gastrointestinal conditions where the symptoms may be of Parkinson’s disease. Another study was conducted where thousands of participants were tested and it was seen that anticholinergics lead to an increase in the development of dementia. This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the results were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. There is an almost 50 percent increase in the risk and almost 58,769 people with dementia and 225,574 people without dementia have been tested.
The patients were all over the age of 55 where 63 percent were women. That being said, the average age of the participants was 82. It was found that for each individual with dementia, there were five control matches that scientists found. This was for the same sex and age of people who attended this practice to receive medical help. This data was sourced by Prof. Coupland and his team from the database of QResearch. The medical records they checked were dated between January 1, 2004, and January 31, 2016. The team of research scientists also found that anticholinergic drugs were, in general, linked to a higher risk of dementia.
It is important to mention that this was specifically seen in anti-Parkinson’s drugs, antipsychotic drugs, anticholinergic antidepressants, epilepsy drugs and bladder drugs which had the highest risk of dementia. The drugs that are frequently prescribed were bladder drugs known as antimuscarinic drugs, anti-vertigo drugs, and antidepressants. Lifestyles of the tested patients played an important part in the entire research which included the use of various other medications, smoking status, cardiovascular diseases, level of alcohol consumption and most importantly, the body mass index, also known as BMI. Medical practitioners, while prescribing medicines, need to take care of the side-effects involved.