Common blood pressure drugs and memory trouble: a plain talk

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Sometimes, the medicines we take for common health problems may have side effects.

A recent study from the University of California, San Diego, discovered one such side effect. It’s about a group of drugs we use quite often. These drugs might cause problems with memory.

Drugs in Question

These drugs are called anticholinergic drugs. We use them to treat many issues. They can lower high blood pressure. They can stop allergies and colds.

They can treat Parkinson’s disease and bladder problems. There are about 100 types of these drugs. Some need a doctor’s permission. Others you can just buy from a shop.

The Study Details

The study followed 688 people. Their average age was 74. At first, none of them had problems with memory or thinking.

They had to share if they were using any of these drugs regularly. They had to have used the drugs at least once a week for more than half a year.

These people had their memory and thinking skills tested each year. The testing period was up to 10 years. About one-third of these people were taking these drugs.

On average, they were taking around five of these drugs. The most common drugs were Metoprolol, Atenolol, Loratadine, and Bupropion.

Findings of the Study

The results were concerning. People who were taking at least one of these drugs had a higher chance of memory problems. Their chance was 47% higher than those not taking these drugs.

This problem with memory is often a sign of more serious memory diseases.

The study also noticed something else.

People who had signs of Alzheimer’s disease in their body and took these drugs had more risk. They were four times more likely to develop memory problems.

Also, people who had genes making them prone to Alzheimer’s had a similar risk. If they took these drugs, they were 2.5 times more likely to have memory problems.

What This Means for Us

This discovery could be very important. If we use fewer of these drugs before we have memory issues, we could avoid future problems. This is especially important for those who already have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s.

Further Reading

If you have high blood pressure, pay attention to other research too. Blood pressure changes could mean heart problems are starting. Foods like beetroot could help protect against high blood pressure.

There is more research on high blood pressure too. Some people take drugs for high blood pressure that make it worse. Sometimes waiting is the best treatment for high blood pressure.

The research was done by Lisa Delano-Wood and her team. They published their findings in a journal called Neurology.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about the best time to take high blood pressure drugs, and scientists find new way to treat high blood pressure.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that Beetroot juice could help lower high blood pressure, and results showing this common plant nutrient could help reduce high blood pressure.

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