“Anticholinergics, a class of drugs used for conditions including allergies, colds, high blood pressure and depression, may be associated with an increased risk of developing mild thinking and memory problems, particularly in people who have genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease or markers of this condition, according to a new study.” [Source: Medicalexpress.com]
Given that they block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the finding that anticholinergic drugs increase the risk of memory problems is hardly surprising. Acetylcholine is known to play key roles in learning and memory. Recent research has shown this class of drugs can increase the risk of dementia by almost 50 percent.
Anticholinergic drugs are well known to cause numerous other problems as well. These include blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, hallucinations, increased heart rate and irregular heartbeat, reduced sweating, and raised body temperature. Such side effects can be particularly pronounced in elderly people. As the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases with age, anticholinergic drugs are particularly dangerous in older patients.
While conventional medicine has no effective therapies for preventing or controlling Alzheimer’s disease, a study published in 2015 found that supplements of B vitamins and high levels of omega 3 can stop its development. Recent research has shown synergistic combinations of antioxidants may prevent or even reverse the condition.
To access easy-to-read summaries of scientific studies demonstrating the effectiveness of micronutrients against Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Independent Library of Nutrition and Natural Health website.