Saturday 1 October 2016

Benzos not linked to elders' dementia

Published 23/02/2016 | 02:30

A new study has found taking benzodiazepines is not associated with an increased dementia risk.
A new study has found taking benzodiazepines is not associated with an increased dementia risk.

They are no longer called "mother's little helpers". But tens of thousands of anti-anxiety medications are prescribed in Ireland annually.

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Several theories have emerged about their effects. However, a new study says that taking benzodiazepines - widely used drugs to treat anxiety and insomnia - is not associated with an increased dementia risk in older adults.

These results do not support a direct association between benzodiazepine use and dementia, say the researchers in the British Medical Journal. However, healthcare providers are still advised to avoid benzodiazepines in older adults to prevent important adverse health outcomes.

Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed among older adults to manage sleep, anxiety and depressive disorders.

Some studies have suggested that benzodiazepine use could be associated with an increased risk of dementia, but results are conflicting.

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