Ever worried about side effects from medicines? A recent study from the University of California, San Diego, has found a potential side effect for a common group of drugs: they may cause memory problems.
These drugs are known as anticholinergic drugs.
They’re used to treat a wide range of conditions, such as high blood pressure, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, and bladder problems. Some of these drugs require a prescription, while others can be purchased over the counter.
How Was the Study Done?
The research team followed 688 people, with an average age of 74. Initially, none of the participants had issues with memory or cognition.
Participants reported if they had been taking any of the anticholinergic drugs regularly – at least once a week for more than six months.
Their memory and cognitive skills were tested each year, for up to ten years. Around one-third of the participants were taking these drugs.
The findings raised some concerns. Participants taking at least one of these drugs had a 47% higher risk of developing memory problems, compared to those not taking these drugs.
Memory issues can often be an early sign of more severe cognitive diseases, like dementia.
Moreover, the risk was even higher in people who had biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease or had a genetic predisposition to it. These individuals were four times and 2.5 times more likely to develop memory problems, respectively.
What Does This Mean?
The implications of this study could be significant. Reducing the use of these drugs in individuals before memory issues arise might help prevent cognitive decline, particularly for those at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t stop taking any medication without consulting with your healthcare provider.
There are other studies you might find interesting if you’re dealing with high blood pressure.
Changes in blood pressure could indicate upcoming heart issues, and certain foods like beetroot could help protect against high blood pressure.
The study was conducted by Lisa Delano-Wood and her team and published in the journal Neurology. Always remember to keep up with the latest research to stay informed about your health!
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies that common painkiller can harm your blood pressure, and common high blood pressure drugs may actually raise blood pressure.
For more information about blood pressure control, please see recent studies about teas that may help reduce high blood pressure, and results showing this recommended high blood pressure drug may have dangerous side effects.
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