Anticholinergics are a type of drug that inhibits the chemical messenger acetylcholine. They help patients with relaxing or contracting muscles.
In one study of looking at over 50,000 people with dementia and over 200,000 people without dementia, they found that anticholinergic drugs increased the risk of developing dementia. Specifically, they found that anticholinergic antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, anti- Parkinson’s drugs, bladder drugs, and epilepsy drugs have the highest risk associated with them.
The researchers concluded from their study that people 55 and older who have taken anticholinergics for at least 3 years had a 50% higher chance of developing dementia.
Due to this study, doctors should look at the risk/benefit ratio to determine whether these types of drugs would be beneficial in the long run.
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