By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on January 26, 2015
A large study finds that a certain group of medications may increase the risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
Researchers discovered medications that have strong anticholinergic effects may increase the risk for dementia if the drugs are taken at higher doses or for a long time. Study authors report that many older people take these medications, which include nonprescription diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
The study is published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Investigators report the study used more rigorous methods, longer follow-up (more than seven years), and better assessment of medication use via pharmacy records (including substantial nonprescription use) to confirm this previously reported link.