Monday January 20, 2020

Antidepressants are linked to high risk of dementia: Study

For the study, published in the journal BMJ, an international team from the US, UK and Ireland analysed more than 27 million prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over age 65 diagnosed with dementia compared to the records of 283,933 older adults without dementia.

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However, the researchers are yet not aware of
Representational Image, Pixabay

If you are used to taking commonly prescribed antidepressants, think twice. According to a study, you may be at high risk of developing dementia, even 20 years before the actual diagnosis, a study has warned.

The researchers found greater incidence of dementia among patients prescribed anticholinergic antidepressants, anticholinergic bladder medications as well as anticholinergic Parkinson’s disease medications than among older adults who were not prescribed these drugs.

“Anticholinergics, medications that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have previously been implicated as a potential cause of cognitive impairment,” said Noll Campbell, assistant professor at the Purdue University in Indiana.

However, the researchers are yet not aware of "exactly how anticholinergics might cause dementia", the researchers said.
Representational Image- dementia, Pixabay

However, the researchers are yet not aware of “exactly how anticholinergics might cause dementia”, the researchers said.

For the study, published in the journal BMJ, an international team from the US, UK and Ireland analysed more than 27 million prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over age 65 diagnosed with dementia compared to the records of 283,933 older adults without dementia.

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“The findings make it clear that clinicians need to carefully consider the anticholinergic burden of their patients and weigh other options,” said Malaz Boustani, from the US-based Regenstrief Institute.

“Physicians should review all the anticholinergic medications – including over-the-counter drugs – that patients of all ages are taking and determine safe ways to take individuals off anticholinergic medications in the interest of preserving brain health,” Boustani said. (IANS)

 

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This Class of Antibiotics Can Treat Dementia

Antibiotics to treat early dementia show promise

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dementia
Frontotemporal dementia, is the most common type of early onset dementia, typically begins between ages 40 and 65. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a class of antibiotics called “Aminoglycosides” could be a promising treatment for early onset dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia, is the most common type of early onset dementia, typically begins between ages 40 and 65 and affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which leads to behaviour changes, difficulty speaking and writing and memory deterioration.

According to the study, published in the journal “Human Molecular Genetics”, a subgroup of patients with frontotemporal dementia have a specific genetic mutation that prevents brain cells from making a protein called progranulin.

Although progranulin is not widely understood, its absence is linked to the disease.

The researchers from University of Kentucky in US, discovered that after aminoglycoside antibiotics were added to neuronal cells with this mutation, the cells started making the full-length progranulin protein by skipping the mutation.

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Currently, there are no effective therapies for any type of dementia. Pixabay

“These patients” brain cells have a mutation that prevents progranulin from being made. The team found that by adding a small antibiotic molecule to the cells, they could ‘trick’ the cellular machinery into making it,” said study co-author Matthew Gentry from the University of Kentucky.

The researchers found two specific aminoglycoside antibiotics – Gentamicin and G418 – were both effective in fixing the mutation and making the functional progranulin protein.

After adding Gentamicin or G418 molecules to the affected cells, the progranulin protein level was recovered up to about 50 to 60 per cent.

These results could be promising to drug development. Currently, there are no effective therapies for any type of dementia, the researchers said.

After this pre-clinical proof of concept study, the next step is to study the antibiotics’ effects on mice with the mutation that causes frontotemporal dementia, they added.

Another focus is to possibly develop new compounds from Gentamicin and G418 that could be safer and more effective.

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“If we can get the right resources and physician to work with, we could potentially repurpose this drug,” Zhu added.

This is an early stage of the study, but it provides an important proof of concept that these aminoglycoside antibiotics or their derivatives can be a therapeutic avenue for frontotemporal dementia,” Zhu added. (IANS)