Study: anticholinergic medications could increase risk of dementia


(CNN)–If you take an anticholinergic drug, you might be at an increased risk of dementia.

A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found a strong connection between the deliberating disease and certain medicines in the drug class, particularly medication for depression, overactive bladder, epilepsy, and antipsychotics.

Researchers analyzed data on nearly 285,000 adults in the United Kingdom, 55 and older, between 2004 and 2006.

Based on their exposure to anticholinergic drugs, they found that those who took them were up to 50 percent more likely to get dementia.

A person only had to be on a strong daily dose for at least three years, or take about 1,100 doses over 10 years to be at that higher risk level.

People taking anticholinergic drugs are advised not to stop taking them without consulting their doctor first.

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