By IANS, [RxPG] Some commonly used drugs by the elderly to treat illnesses like Parkinson's or urinary incontinence may lead to mild mental impairment, says a study.
Those who take anticholinergic drugs over an extended period showed poorer cognitive performance, researchers said. The drugs are also used to treat illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome and tremors.
Researchers interviewed 372 elderly people without dementia about current and past illnesses and drug use. Cognitive performance was assessed and participants were monitored for up to eight years, reported Newswise wire.
About 10 percent of the people in the sample took anticholinergic drugs over an extended period. They showed poorer mental performance compared with non-users and 80 percent met the criteria for mild cognitive impairment compared with 35 percent of non-users.
However, drug users were not at increased risk of developing dementia, the researchers said.
Even after taking account other known risk factors for cognitive impairment, anticholinergic drugs remained the most highly significant predictor of this condition, say the authors.
The study published in the British Medical Journal suggests doctors assess current use of anticholinergic drugs in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment before considering treatment for dementia.
Indo-Asian News Service
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