Concussions And Head Injuries
Concussions and traumatic head injuries can cause short-term memory impairment, but some research has found that they can also increase the likelihood for the development of dementia over the years.
Be sure to take steps like wearing protective headgear and helmets when playing sports. And, if you do sustain a concussion, it’s important to let your head fully heal before returning to regular activities and participating in sports. Discuss any headaches and concentration difficulties after a head injury with your doctor.
Selection Of Cases And Noncases
Since 1985, all ADR reports sent spontaneously by health professionals to one of the 31 French Regional Centres of Pharmacovigilance have been entered into the FPVD.
In our study, we collected ADRs recorded in the FPVD between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009.
Cases were defined as HLT memory loss , including amnesia, anterograde amnesia, global amnesia, memory disturbance and amnesic disorder. Noncases, using as controls, were all the remaining ADR reports recorded in the database during the same period.
Drug exposition was defined by the presence in the report of the drug checked suspect according to the World Health Organization criteria, whatever the level of causality assessment. We selected drugs for which four or more reports of memory disorders had been registered in the FPVD.
If available, the following data were also collected from each report: age, sex, seriousness and evolution of the ADR.
Seriousness was defined as an ADR leading to hospitalization , persistent or significant disability or incapacity, life threatening or death.
Medications That May Cause Memory Loss
If one is increasingly forgetful or if one is having memory problems in his/her daily life then most likely he/she is suffering from a problem of memory loss. Memory loss can be either short-term or long-term. Short-term memory loss is forgetfulness of recent events while long-term memory loss is inability to retain memories that should be retained anywhere from a few days to the rest of life.
Most people consider memory loss as a sign of aging, but this is not always true. Aging is one of the causes, not the only cause of memory loss. Memory impairment can also occur due to side effect of some medications. One must be wise to choose a thing by comparing its effects versus side effects.
There are a number of medicines that can lead to memory loss; some of them are listed as follows.
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Less Common Causes Of Memory Loss
Other conditions that can lead to problems with memory include:
- Infection: Memory loss may be attributed to severe infection around the brain, including neurosyphilis, Gale says.
- Head injury: Symptoms of a mild brain injury may include confusion and trouble with memory and concentration, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- Tumors: Memory and the ability to process information may be affected by brain tumors, the American Brain Tumor Association says. In addition, treatments for a tumor can affect your memory, including brain surgery, chemo, or radiation therapy.
- Alcoholism, Substance Abuse: Both alcoholism and drug abuse can affect memory, says Lyketsos. A study found that men who drank heavily showed signs of mental decline one to six years earlier than light drinkers.
High Blood Pressure Drugs
People with high blood pressure are often prescribed beta-blockers to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure. They can sometimes be given to people with angina , abnormal heart rhythms, migraines and certain types of glaucoma .Beta-blockers work by blocking chemical messengers in the brain, including norepinephrine and epinephrine. However, this also affects the formation of memories.
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Popular Drugs Linked To Dementia And Memory Loss
Any time you take a medication, weighing the risks and benefits of the drug is a must. And now we must ask ourselves, Is this one of the drugs linked to dementia and memory loss?
Emerging research is finding disturbing connections between anticholinergic drugs and negative brain effects. This drug class includes popular medications used for allergies, seasickness and sleep, including diphenhydramine, dimenhydrinate and others.
And yes, youd think some of the most popular allergy and insomnia;drugs on the market would be safe,;but one study outlines some;frightening health risks. The JAMA Neurology;study is unique because Indiana University School of Medicine;researchers actually used brain imaging to detect how anticholinergic drugs impact the brain. Using MRI and PET scan imaging, researchers showed how people taking anticholinergic drugs experienced lower brain metabolism and higher brain atrophy.
This isnt the first time researchers found a connection between;anticholinergic drugs and cognitive decline.;In 2015, University of Washington scientists also found the chronic use of certain anticholinergic;sleep aids and hay fever meds in the increased a persons risk of dementia. The study only found the association;for people taking these drugs for 3 or more years.
9 Drugs That Cause Memory Loss
1. Incontinence Drugs
Generic drug names:;darifenacin,;oxybutynin,;tolterodine,;flavoxate
2. Muscle Relaxants
3. Narcotic Painkillers
What Is The Outlook
Once your doctor has determined the cause of your memory loss, theyll work with you to create your treatment plan. This may include lifestyle changes if youre at risk for or have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
If AD causes your memory loss, your doctor may recommend cholinesterase inhibitors to start. These inhibitors tend to delay the worsening of symptoms and can improve functionality in people with dementia. Depending on how the disease is progressing, they may prescribe additional medication.
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Normal Forgetfulness Vs Dementia
For most people, occasional lapses in short-term memory are a normal part of the aging process, not a warning sign of serious mental deterioration or the onset of Alzheimers or another dementia.
The following types of memory lapses are normal among older adults and generally are not considered warning signs of dementia:
- Occasionally forgetting where you left things you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.
- Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your sons name.
- Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.
- Becoming easily distracted or having trouble remembering what youve just read, or the details of a conversation.
- Not quite being able to retrieve information you have on the tip of your tongue.
Seek Freedom From Drugs That Cause Memory Loss
If you or some you love is abusing drugs or alcohol, seek help immediately. Treatment is available, and you are not alone. When seeking a private residential treatment program, choose the program that has the highest accreditation, focuses on personalized care, and offers the greatest luxury accommodations. Harmony Place provides a full continuum of treatment options, fromdetox to transitional living.;
We have a personalized plan for everyone who steps through our doors, ensuring the best results for each patient. Plus, each plan includes how alumni can continue their promise of lifelong sobriety through our aftercare programs. We give patients all the tools they need to succeed, regardless of where theyre at in recovery. Hence, waiting to get help for a substance use disorder is a mistake and unnecessary. Here at Harmony Place, we have the right plan for you as soon as you start treatment. For a private consultation and more information, call us today.
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These 3 Types Of Prescribed Medications Can Cause Memory Loss And Other Cognitive Problems
- Sleeping pills
It has been proven by numerous cases that sleeping pills can cause memory loss.
Ambien is one of the most used drug for this problem and it`s also called amnesia drug. People who used this drug have experienced hallucinations, sleep walking, sleep driving and night terrors.
Taking this drug for treatment of sleeping problems doesnt give the brain the restorative sleep that it needs to repair and maintain itself. It causes states similar to being drunk or being in a coma.
- Statin drugs
The worst medications for the brain are the statin drugs which are usually used for lowering cholesterol levels. These drugs can cause memory loss.
The brain is consisted of ¼ of cholesterol. The brain needs the cholesterol for proper functioning, for memory, learning and fast thinking. These drugs can seriously endanger the health of the brain.
- The ANTI drugs
Antihistamines, antibiotics, antihypertensive, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antispasmodics and all the other medications that start with ANTI- affect the acetylcholine levels.
The organic chemical acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter which is responsible for learning and memory. ;It is the primary neurotransmitter, so low levels can cause hallucinations, mental confusion, dementia, memory loss, delirium and blurred vision.
What The Studies Found
It’s important to note that neither of these studies was a randomized controlled clinical trial, so neither proved that either type of drug causes dementia.
The anticholinergic study. Researchers tracked nearly 3,500 men and women ages 65 or older who took part in Adult Changes in Thought , a long-term study conducted by the University of Washington and Group Health, a Seattle health care system. They used Group Health’s pharmacy records to determine all the drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, that each participant took in the 10 years before starting the study. Participants’ health was tracked for an average of seven years. During that time, 800 of them developed dementia. When the researchers examined medication use, they found that people who used anticholinergic drugs were more likely to have developed dementia than those who didn’t use them. Moreover, dementia risk increased along with the cumulative dose. Taking an anticholinergic for the equivalent of three years or more was associated with a 54% higher dementia risk than taking the same dose for three months or less.
The University of Washington study is the first to include nonprescription drugs. It is also the first to eliminate the possibility that people were taking the drugs to alleviate early symptoms of undiagnosed dementia. For people who took anticholinergic bladder medications, the increased risk was just as high as for those taking tricyclic antidepressants, which are also anticholinergics.
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What This Study Adds
An association between memory disorders and some drugs, such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants and older anticonvulsants, was found as expected.
A strong association was found with unexpected drugs, such as benzodiazepine-like hypnotics , serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants and newer anticonvulsants.
Non-neurotropic drugs, such as isotretinoin and ciclosporin, were also associated with memory disorders.
What To Do If You Or Your Relative Is On These Medications
So what should you do if you discover that your older relative or you yourself are taking some of these medications?
If its an over-the-counter anticholinergic, you can just stop it. Allergies can be treated with non-sedating antihistamines like loratadine , or you can ask the doctor about a nasal steroid spray. PM painkillers can be replaced by the non-PM version, and remember that the safest OTC analgesic for older adults is acetaminophen .
If you are taking an over-the-counter sleep aid, it contains a sedating antihistamine and those are strongly anticholinergic. You can just stop an OTC sleep aid, but in the short term, insomnia often gets worse. So youll need to address the insomnia with non-drug techniques.
You should also discuss any insomnia or sleep problems with your doctors its important to rule out pain and serious medical problems as a cause of insomnia but be;careful: many of them will prescribe a sleeping pill, because they havent trained in geriatrics and they under-estimate the risks of these drugs.
If one or more of the medications above has been prescribed, dont stop without first;consulting with a health professional. Youll want to make an appointment soon, to review the reasons that the medication was prescribed, alternative options for treating the problem, and then work out a plan to reduce or eliminate the drug.
Now go check out those medication bottles, and let me know what you find!
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So Should You Be Worried About Your Medications And Dementia
These findings are intriguing but they arent definitive, and they dont mean you should stop taking a medication because youre concerned about developing dementia.
First, this study found that use of certain medications was more common in people later diagnosed with dementia. That doesnt mean these drugs caused dementia. There are other potential explanations for the findings. For example, some people develop depression during the early phases of dementia. Rather than antidepressants causing dementia, the medication might be prescribed for early symptoms of dementia that has already developed. This is called “confounding by indication” and its a potential flaw of studies like this one that attempt to link past medication use with future disease.
Another reason to be cautious about these results is that they cannot be used to estimate the impact of medication use on an individual persons risk of dementia. This type of study looks at the risk in a large group, but individual factors may have a much bigger impact on dementia risk.
Still, there is reason to be concerned about the possibility that anticholinergic drugs contribute to the risk of dementia. Acetylcholine is involved in memory and learning, and past research has demonstrated lower levels of acetylcholine in the brains of people with Alzheimers disease . In addition, animal studies suggest that anticholinergic drugs may contribute to brain inflammation, a potential contributor to dementia.
What Is Already Known About This Subject
Iatrogenic amnesia is one of the main aetiologies of transient amnesia.
Benzodiazepines and anticholinergic drugs are considered to be the drugs most often responsible for iatrogenic amnesia.
The impact of drugs in memory disorders is particularly pronounced in elderly people, especially due to polymedication.
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Common Causes Of Forgetfulness
Memory slips are aggravating, frustrating, and sometimes worrisome. When they happen more than they should, they can trigger fears of looming dementia or Alzheimers disease. But there are some treatable causes of forgetfulness. Here are six common ones.
Lack of sleep.;Not getting enough sleep is perhaps the greatest unappreciated cause of forgetfulness. Too little restful sleep can also lead to mood changes and anxiety, which in turn contribute to problems with memory.
Medications.;Tranquilizers, antidepressants, some blood pressure drugs, and other medications can affect memory, usually by causing sedation or confusion. That can make it difficult to pay close attention to new things. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that a new medication is taking the edge off your memory. As shown in the table below, alternatives are usually available.
Medications that may affect memory and possible substitutes
If you take these drugs
ask about switching to one of these drugs
another antidepressant such as fluoxetine or sertraline , or a different type of antidepressant such as duloxetine or venlafaxine
Underactive thyroid.;A faltering thyroid can affect memory . A simple blood test can tell if your thyroid is doing its job properly.
You Could Be Taking An Aed And Not Know It:
Before you say you dont have epilepsy and assume that you are not taking such medicines, be aware that they are often prescribed for pain. People with migraines frequently take topiramate to prevent their headaches. Some doctors use it off label to treat bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder .
Gabapentin and pregabalin are also prescribed for nerve pain . In addition, Lyrica is a mainstay in the treatment of fibromyalgia. At last count, more than 10 million people take one or the other of these drugs.
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The American Heart Associations Diet Is A Killer
The landmark Lyon Diet Heart Study followed approximately 600 participants who were at extreme risk for heart attacks.
They were overweight, sedentary, smoked, and had high cholesterol levels.
Half were put on a Mediterranean diet and half were put on what was called a prudent Western-type diet recommended by the American Heart Association.
The study was halted before it was completed.
People on the Mediterranean diet were 45% less likely to die over the 4-year period than those on the prudent diet even though their cholesterol levels didnt budge.
However, so many people on the American Heart Associations diet were dying that researchers felt it was unethical to continue putting study participants at risk.
Infections Of The Brain Or Its Lining
Infections like HIV, tuberculosis and herpes can cause memory problems. HIV puts the function of nerve cells at risk by infecting the cells that protect and support them. The virus can also trigger inflammation that can damage the brain and cause forgetfulness. With tuberculosis, memory loss can be a complaint. However, prompt treatment can resolve these problems. Meanwhile, herpes simplex virus can cause a rare neurological disorder called herpes simplex encephalitis. This inflammation of the brain can lead to memory loss. Antiviral drugs may help if treatment is started right away.
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Stress Anxiety And Depression
Significant stress or anxiety can lead to problems with attention and memory, cautions Lyketsos. This is particularly common among people who may be juggling home and work responsibilities and are not sleeping well. Usually, easing stress can improve memory, Lyketsos says.
Untreated chronic stress can lead to depression, which could also affect brain function, according to research published in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences. A mood disorder may improve with medication and counseling, notes the National Institute on Aging.
Which Common Medications Are Linked To Dementia
Emily Hong & Meg Seymour, PhD
You may have heard the media coverage that common medications may increase the risk for dementia. These medications include a variety of drugs, including antihistamines , some antidepressants, and drugs that help people with Parkinsons.1 What do these drugs all have in common, what do you need to know about them, and are there really risks to taking them?
The drugs in question are called anticholinergic medications. They block the action of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is important for memory, attention, and learning. Because of this connection to memory and the brain, the side effects of some anticholinergic drugs can include dementia-like symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion.;
In most cases, these side effects go away after people stop taking the medications.2 However, people taking some anticholinergic drugs may have an increased risk of developing dementia later.2, 3, 4 It is important to note that there are many types of anticholinergic drugs that treat many conditions. The risk may be specific to some drugs. So, its important to assess each type of anticholinergic drug separately.;
A 2019 study conducted in England included 284,343 patients.4 It looked at 56 different anticholinergic drugs to see their effects on risk for dementia. The study found that people had a higher risk for dementia if they took:;
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