Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Breaking News: 100+ Common Medications Now Linked to Dementia.

Loosing Your Mind?
It could be a side effect of your medication!

Science has enabled us to understand the cause of dementia.  Plain and simple, it's damage to brain cells that is responsible for the changes in core mental functions associated with the disease. In fact, different types of dementia are associated with particular types of brain cell damage in particular regions of the brain. Because of these discoveries, researchers have developed medical treatments for mild to severe cognitive impairments.

In the world of dementia care, there are currently five drugs that are FDA approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia: Namenda, Aricept, Razadyne, Namzarik and Exelon. 

While no drug is yet capable of curing Alzheimer's, these current medications are able to lessen or stabilize symptoms for a period of time. So, once diagnosed, doctors use these medications, alone or in combination, to slow the advancement of this progressive, degenerative disease. In the meantime, medical research teams continue their studies in the area of dementia. 

Recently, researchers have published the results of their latest dementia studies. In this brief video, learn how the use of common reflux medications has been shown to increase the risk of developing dementia by 44%. 

Do you know anyone who regularly uses proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for heartburn? I do! I am married to a man with chronic acid reflux, so this information really grabbed me. If extended use of Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid increases his long term risk of developing dementia, he's in big trouble.  Actually, if he develops dementia, I'm in big trouble.

After reading the results of this study, my husband and I agree: simple diet changes will reduce his reflux and decrease his dependence on these medications. While cutting out tomatoes and switching to decaf coffee may not provide the same quick relief he is accustomed to when taking these PPIs, it will be a necessary start for his long term health and wellbeing.  

After watching this video, do you need to make any changes?

Next, a new study, published just a few days ago, offers the most definitive proof yet of what scientists have known for at least a decade...anticholinergic drugs (Dramamine, Dimetapp, Benadryl, Unisom, Demerol, Paxil and VESIcare, just to name a few), are linked to cognitive impairment, brain shrinkage and, you guessed it, increased risk of dementia.

Everyone knows that drugs have potential side effects. Because we are a society of people who want quick fixes and have expectations of instant gratification, when it comes to treating medical conditions, we often times overlook the negative consequences of the medicines we take. The results of these two research studies should serve as real eye openers to the potential dangers of the extended use of these types of drugs. 

Perhaps you need to reconsider the medications you take?  Talk to your doctor to see if changes in your medical regimen are needed to preserve the long term health of your brain.

The person who takes medicine must recover twice- once from the disease and once from the medicine. 
William Osler, MD