Monday, October 10, 2016

Medical Researchers Release List Of Common OTC Drugs That Lead To Early Onset Dementia

It’s no surprise that certain drugs cause certain side effects. When reading any over-the-counter drug label and prescribed drugs, there is always a list of side effects. For years, doctors and researchers have been trying to detect what exactly causes dementia in older adults. The disease has proven to be more common nowadays, which could be a result of the longer lifespans that are a result of advanced medical research, or it could be a result of common drugs that nearly half the population takes on a daily basis. While doctors were in the midst of researching causes of dementia, they came across a scary observation.

Medications that fall under the umbrella of Anticholinergic drugs have been proven to increase the risk of dementia. Some of these very popular drugs include: Benadryl, Dramamine, Paxil and Demerol. All of these drugs are used for different treatments. Benadryl is for allergy and itch relief, Dramamine is used for motion sickness, Paxil is known to treat anxiety and depression and Demerol is a pain medication that is considered an opiod.

While doctors have long known that these drugs increase the risk of short-term memory loss, they have proven this case to be true when conducting a study at the Indiana School of Medicine. With the use of high-tech imaging equipment, researchers were able to look closely at the brains of 451 older adults. 60 of the 451 patients were regularly taking drugs that fell under the category of Anticholinergic drugs and all 60 of those patients had smaller brains than the other patients. The same 60 patients had lower brain activity as a result of low glucose metabolism rates. Alzheimer’s patients typically have lower activity in the hippocampus, and the researchers detected the lack of activity was prominent in this same portion of the brain.

When taking tests that involved cognition and short term memory, the 60 patients did worse than the other patient who were not on the drugs. They were less likely to piece together problems that involved planning and memory.

This study has certainly proven a lot in the world of progressive research and medical researchers have a lot to work with based on their findings, but they still have a way to go in order to prove why exactly these drugs are causing the memory loss that leads to dementia.

Researchers and doctors advise patients to read over-the-counter labels thoroughly before purchasing a medication, especially in older aged adults. Any drug that contains anticholinergic properties could escalate the memory loss that is already common in elderly patients.

It is extremely important that patients discuss the side effects in all drugs that are taken regularly. Sometimes the benefits of the drug’s mission outweighs the potential side effects, but other times those side effects may cause severe lifestyle changes.

Full Article & Source:
Medical Researchers Release List Of Common OTC Drugs That Lead To Early Onset Dementia


Rebecca said...

All drugs are bad because they all have side effects. Some people are forced to take them anyway for serious illnesses. But overall, our society takes too many pills needlessly. I am glad for this article.

Constance said...

I believe it, Rebecca. New drugs are introduced with fanfare and it takes years and suddenly we see class action suits. Happens all the time.