In a recent study, researchers found that prescribed drugs with the anticholinergic property may increase the risk of memory loss and stroke.
Drugs with this feature may greatly harm people’s brain health.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Aberdeen.
The team found that the anticholinergic property exists in many commonly prescribed drugs, including drugs for treating heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and allergies.
Previous studies have found that the anticholinergic feature could damage communication between different parts of the nervous system.
This may lead to blurred vision, confusion, and memory loss. It may also raise the risk of falls and heart disease.
In the current study, the team found that drugs with this feature are also linked to a higher risk of stroke.
They tested 22,000 people aged between 39 – 79 years who used these medicines. All of the people were tracked for about 20 years.
The researchers found that people who took drugs with a high level of anticholinergic side effect had a much higher risk of stroke.
Their stroke risk was almost 60% higher and their death risk was almost 90% higher than people who did not take the drugs.
It is possible that these drugs affect inflammation that plays an important role in the period immediately after a stroke. They may make people more vulnerable to stroke.
The team believes that doctors need to be aware of this dangerous side effect and protect their patients from stroke.
Future work needs to test the anticholinergic effect on stroke risk in a randomized trial setting.
The lead author of the study is Dr. David Gamble, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen.
The study is published in The International Journal of Epidemiology.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.