Monday May 28, 2018

Medication use increases in newly-diagnosed dementia patients

According to the researchers, potentially inappropriate or unnecessary medications included sleeping tablets, pain drugs, depression drugs and acid reflux drugs

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Pills (representational Image), Pixabay
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Researchers have found an increase in medication use by the patients who have been newly-diagnosed with dementia and they may consume unnecessary or inappropriate medicines that increase the risk of side effects.

“Our study found that following a diagnosis of dementia in older people, medication use increased by 11 per cent in a year and the use of potentially inappropriate medications increased by 17 per cent,” said lead author Danijela Gnjidic, Senior Lecturer from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre at University of Sydney.

opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen
Medication can increase risk of Dementia. VOA

According to the researchers, potentially inappropriate or unnecessary medications included sleeping tablets, pain drugs, depression drugs and acid reflux drugs (proton pump inhibitors). “These medications are typically recommended for short term use but are commonly used long term by people with dementia,” Gnjidic said.

The number of people living with dementia around the world is 50 million and in Australia is currently 425,000. Also, dementia is currently the second leading cause of death in Australia, the researchers said.

Also Read: A study finds: What causes dementia?

The longitudinal study, published in the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, of nearly 2,500 people was conducted in collaboration with Yale University and University of Kentucky. The researchers conducted longitudinal study using the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center data.

“A number of reasons may account for this, including inadequate guidelines, lack of time during physician patient encounters, diminished decision-making capacity, difficulties with comprehension and communication, and difficulties in establishing goals of care,” the researcher said.

Many drugs we take are often harmful for us. Pixabay

“These findings are of major concern and highlight the importance of weighing up the harms and benefits of taking potentially unnecessary medications as they may lead to increased risk of side effects such as sedation or drowsiness, and adverse drug events such as falls, fractures and hospitalisation,” the researchers added. IANS

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Small Head Blows Can Also Increase Risk of Dementia

In total, 357,558 participants, whose average age was 49, were tracked.

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Concussion without loss of consciousness led to 2.36 times the risk for dementia, showed the findings published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
Head blows can cause dementia, Pixabay

Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found.

The study, which tracked more than 350,000 participants, showed that the likelihood of dementia more than doubled following concussion.

Concussion without loss of consciousness led to 2.36 times the risk for dementia, showed the findings published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

These risks were slightly elevated for those in the loss-of-consciousness bracket (2.51) and were nearly four times higher (3.77) for those with the more serious moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury.

The researchers identified participants from two databases. The first group included all-era veterans whose traumatic brain injuries could have occurred during civilian or military life.

The second group included veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, for whom most of these injuries had occurred in combat zones, such as from shockwaves in blasts.

Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found.
Dementia, Pixabay

“The findings in both groups were similar, indicating that concussions occurring in combat areas were as likely to be linked to dementia as those concussions affecting the general population,” said first author Deborah Barnes, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, US.

In total, 357,558 participants, whose average age was 49, were tracked.

Half had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, of which 54 per cent reported experiencing concussion.

The study followed the participants for an average of 4.2 years.

“There are several mechanisms that may explain the association between traumatic brain injury and dementia,” said senior author and principal investigator Kristine Yaffe, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

Also Read: Researchers Identified Protein Associated With Breast Cancer

 “There’s something about trauma that may hasten the development of neurodegenerative conditions. One theory is that brain injury induces or accelerates the accumulation of abnormal proteins that lead to neuronal death associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease,” Yaffe said.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

“It’s also possible that trauma leaves the brain more vulnerable to other injuries or ageing processes,” Yaffe said. (IANS)