According to the latest reports, it seems that there are a few drugs that are linked to dementia. We suggest that you find out which they are by checking out the latest details below.
Common drugs linked to dementia
Dementia is a condition that is commonly associated with aging, but it can also be caused by certain medications. According to the late neurologist and neurosurgeon K.K. Jain, drug-induced dementia is a type of reversible dementia that differs from typical neurodegenerative disorders.
Several types of drugs, such as anticholinergic drugs, anti-epileptics, oncology drugs, and sedative-hypnotic drugs, can increase the risk of developing dementia. These drugs are frequently prescribed to older individuals.
Psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin, who has authored several books on psychopharmacology, has stated that many drugs available on the market have some level of neurotoxicity, which can result in cognitive and neurological side effects.
Not everyone is equally susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of a drug. However, older individuals and those with cognitive impairments are more vulnerable to such effects.
As people age, they are more likely to develop age-related health conditions and receive medications to manage their symptoms. Unfortunately, many of these medications can have negative effects on cognitive function.
For instance, certain drugs prescribed for Parkinson’s disease can increase the risk of dementia because they inhibit the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine also plays a critical role in cognitive function.
Proton pump inhibitors, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, have also been linked to an increased risk of dementia by up to 44% in some studies.
Anticholinergic drugs are a well-known class of drugs that can induce dementia. These drugs work by blocking the release of acetylcholine, which can cause dementia-like symptoms.
As early as 1977, experiments were conducted using the anticholinergic drug scopolamine, which showed that young medical volunteers in their 20s manifested dementia-like symptoms and had a harder time recalling things they had just learned, 40 minutes after drug administration.
Anticholinergic drugs are frequently prescribed for cramping and spasms in various organs, but they also block autonomic muscle movements and various bodily functions, and function as a sedative.
Examples of anticholinergic drugs include diphenhydramine, the active compound in Benadryl, Tylenol PM, and Advil PM. They also include common medications for Parkinson’s disease, such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl, etc.