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There are currently 55 million people afflicted by dementia around the globe, but these figures are only expected to climb in coming years. The progressions of cognitive decline cannot be stopped, but knowing the risk factors could delay, if not prevent some cases. One class of bladder drugs could be a lesser-known risk factor for dementia, according to a recent study.

Antimuscarinic agents are predominantly used in pharmacological treatment for patients with an overactive bladder.

They are a subclass of anticholinergic drugs, which have been associated with a heightened risk of dementia in a number of studies.

The drug works by blocking acetylcholine, a chemical that is critical in the functioning of the nervous system.

By blocking these functions in the brain, research has shown it alters cognition.

READ MORE: Dementia: One of the ‘first’ subtle changes in personality that may be seen in your 40s

In a recent study, published in the journal Nature in May 2021, researchers set out to probe the association between bladder antimuscarinic users and the risk of developing dementia.

They noted: “After adjusting for potential confounders, antimuscarinic users exhibited a 2.46 fold increased risk of dementia compared with that in non-users.

“As for medication use, patients using aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, statins, anxiolytics, and hypnotics, exhibited a low risk of developing dementia.

“On the contrary, those using anti-depressants drugs, anti-Parkinson’s disease drugs, and antipsychotic drugs showed a higher risk of developing dementia.”

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Source: Daily Express

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