While the study did not prove cause and effect, researchers say the findings suggest benzodiazepine use among older patients presents a significant public health concern. An estimated 36 million people worldwide currently suffer from dementia, and rates of Alzheimer's disease continue to grow as the population ages. This is not the first study to suggest a link between use of this class of drugs and increased dementia risk. Another study published in 2012, also in BMJ, followed 1,063 elderly individuals for 20 years. The researchers in that study determined that the risk for dementia was 4.8 per 100 person-years among people who took benzodiazepines versus 3.2 per 100 person-years in the group not taking the drugs. The drugs are frequently prescribed because anxiety is a common problem among aging people. According to the National Institutes of Health, anxiety disorders impact approximately 3 to 14 percent of older adults each year. The Kaiser Foundation recently reported that the average senior is taking six prescription drugs daily. Many add one or two new prescriptions to their daily routine each year, and often, the senior and the senior loved one’s family do not fully understand which pill does what, when to take each pill or what side effects to look out for. Learn more about how this can lead to a misdiagnosis of illness, and even, medication induced Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Drug interactions and side effects often mimic the symptoms of age-related cognitive disorders. For instance, drugs that affect cognition and mobility, such as anti-anxiety meds, can make dementia symptoms worse — or even create a facade of dementia in people who don’t suffer from the disease, a condition known as pseudodementia. For instance, many anti-anxiety drugs commonly prescribed to seniors such as Valium and Xanax, have side effects that are indistinguishable from Alzheimer’s or dementia, including: Other medications can also cause pseudodementia, including cholesterol lowering statin drugs like Lipitor, which many seniors take. In fact, any medicine that can cause cognitive impairment could lead to a misdiagnosis of dementia. Where can i buy viagra spray Effects of propecia What if they can cause dementia later on in. I never really came back from the Xanax level memory loss. Does anyone here think I need someone to look around my. We received a question recently about how end-stage Alzheimer's AD and LBD differ, and what to be concerned about. By the time a person reaches end-stage dementia there’s so much damage that it’s all very similar and you may not see much difference. Search Harvard Health Publishing. Xanax, or some other. “Benzodiazepines are risky to use in older people because they can cause confusion and slow down. If you are a Word Press user with administrative privileges on this site please enter your email in the box below and click "Send". You will then receive an email that helps you regain access. The number of Americans using benzodiazepines increased from 8.1 million in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2013, and the total quantity of benzodiazepine prescriptions filled during that time more than tripled. Although the American Geriatrics Society has listed them for years as "Potentially Inappropriate Medications" because of the health risks they pose to those over the age of 65, benzodiazepines are still prescribed to almost 9 percent of elderly people. Even for younger people, benzodiazepines cause acute cognitive impairment, among other risks. Increased risk of dementia is another major concern with long-term use of benzodiazepines. In a meta-analysis, heavy cumulative doses of benzodiazepines were associated with a risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Two other recent studies also suggested an association between benzodiazepine use and dementia, finding that heavy use increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease while occasional low-dose use did not. Shelly Gray and colleagues at the University of Washington and the Group Health Research Institute reported different results. Gray and colleagues examined the pharmacy records of Seattle residents over the age of 65 to see how many benzodiazepine prescriptions were made over the previous 10 years. Participants were grouped by exposure: never users, light users (120 days). Does xanax cause dementia Anxiety Meds Valium, Xanax And Ativan May Not, Nearing the End of the LBD Journey - The Lewy Body. 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