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Sleeping pills taken by millions linked to Alzheimer's

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by RL_sparky, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. RL_sparky

    RL_sparky Senior Member

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    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/h...s-taken-by-millions-linked-to-Alzheimers.html

    "Common sleeping tablets and anxiety drugs taken by millions of patients has been linked to a 50 per cent increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found.

    Taking the drugs known as benzodiazepines, which include diazepam and lorazepam, for three months or more was linked with a greater chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease five years later.

    At least six million prescriptions were issued for the drugs in England last year and the researchers said the findings are important because of the large numbers of older people taking the medicines.

    Researchers behind the study described the findings as being of "major importance for public health".

    They warned that although it cannot be definitively proven that the drugs are causing Alzheimer's there is a strong 'suspicion of possible direct causation'.
    The drugs should be not be taken for more than three months in light of these findings, the researchers said."
     
  2. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    "They warned that although it cannot be definitively proven that the drugs are causing Alzheimer's there is a strong 'suspicion of possible direct causation'.

    The drugs should be not be taken for more than three months in light of these findings, the researchers said.

    However, other experts said the results may reflect that people who are already in the early stages of Alzheimer's are often treated for sleep problems and anxiety and this is confusing the findings"

    I am glad they state this, this is what I was wondering upon seeing the article, probably nothing, maybe not.

    GG

    "In addition, retrospective studies such as this cannot prove causation. Therefore there is still a possibility that, rather than causing Alzheimer's disease, benzodiazepines tend to be prescribed to patients presenting with anxiety or insomnia as part of an as yet undiagnosed dementia."

    "There are many possible explanations: it could be a true association in that it reflects benzodiazepine use in the early stage of disease (this is the reverse causation discussed by the authors), it could be caused by benzodiazepine causing minor brain damage which is clinically additive to Alzheimer disease, there could be a direct relationship between benzodiazepine drug action and the disease process, or it could be a false positive, a statistical fluke.

    "Clearly more work is needed before any firm conclusions are drawn. Clinicians are already careful about benzodiazepine prescribing so I would not regard this unexplained and as of yet unreplicated study as cause for any alarm.”
     
    natasa778, MeSci and Valentijn like this.
  3. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Isn't it more likely that sleep disorders are linked to Alzheimers ?

    Btw. There was a recent study on the over 90 age group that showed not everyone with plaque gets Alzheimers. It was on tv on dateline or nightline or ???.
     
    SDSue likes this.

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