Consuming antiepileptic drugs can lead to Alzheimer's disease

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 13, 2018
Quick Bites

  • People consuming antiepileptic drugs are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • The risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was linked particularly to a drug that leads to cognitive impairment
  • These drugs were associated with a 60 % increased in dementia and 20 % increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

According to a new study, people consuming antiepileptic drugs are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 

Scientists from the University of Eastern Finland and German Center for Neurogenerative Diseases (DZNE) have found that the incessant use of antiepileptic drugs for more than a year is associated with a fifteen percent higher risk of developing both the diseases in the Finnish datasheet and a thirty percent higher risk in the German datasheet. 

Researchers discovered, by comparing various antiepileptic drugs, that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was particularly linked to a drug that leads to cognitive impairment. These drugs were associated with a 60 % increase in dementia and a 20 % increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

The team also found that, the higher the dose of a drug that impairs cognitive processing, the higher the risk of dementia. However, the drugs that do not impair cognitive function were not associated with the risk. 

“More research should be conducted into the long-term cognitive effects of these drugs, especially among older people, “said Senior Researcher Heidi Taipale from the University of Eastern Finland. 

For the study, Finnish people with Alzheimer’s disease and a control group (those without the disease) were tested. The study included 70,718 people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and 2, 82,862 controls in Finland during the year 2005-2011. 

The study also included 20,325 people diagnosed with dementia in 2004-2011 and their 81,300 controls. 

The study has been published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.

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