Study: Common drugs tied to dementia risk in older adults

Common meds can increase dementia risk

A new study finds commonly prescribed drugs are tied to a nearly 50 percent higher dementia risk in older adults.

The observational study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, suggests the link is strongest for certain classes of anticholinergic drugs.

They include antidepressants, drugs to treat vertigo, motion sickness or vomiting, and bladder conditions.

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The researchers looked at data from nearly 300,000 people in Britain.

They found the odds of dementia increased from 1.06 percent among those with the lowest anticholinergic exposure to nearly 1.5 percent among those with the highest exposure.

The researchers found only an association between the drugs and dementia risk, and the study did not prove the drugs contribute to causing dementia.

An editorial published with the study says more research is needed to determine if the drugs are actually a reversible risk factor for dementia.

The study's lead author said people taking the drugs should not stop taking them without consulting with their doctor first, as that could cause harm.