SEP 08, 2020 9:04 PM PDT

Anticholinergic Drugs Reported to Cause Cognitive Decline

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A team of researchers have reported that a class of drugs used for an array of conditions—such as allergies, hypertension and urinary incontinence—could be associated with the increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). These drugs are known as anticholinergic and they work by blocking acetylcholine activity.

"This study, led by Alexandra Weigand, suggests that reducing anticholinergic drug use before cognitive problems appear may be important for preventing future negative effects on memory and thinking skills, especially for people at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease," said senior author Lisa Delano-Wood, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Findings were published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Learn more about anticholinergic drugs:

"We believe this interaction between anticholinergic drugs and Alzheimer's risk biomarkers acts in a 'double hit' manner," said Weigand, the study's first author. "In the first hit, Alzheimer's biomarkers indicate that pathology has started to accumulate in and degenerate a small region called the basal forebrain that produces the chemical acetylcholine, which promotes thinking and memory. In the second hit, anticholinergic drugs further deplete the brain's store of acetylcholine. This combined effect most significantly impacts a person's thinking and memory."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
MAY 04, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
A Potential Weakness in SARS-CoV-2 is Caught on Video
MAY 04, 2021
A Potential Weakness in SARS-CoV-2 is Caught on Video
You can see the spike protein of the virus in action in this video.
MAY 06, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Tweaked Version of Ketamine Could Solve the Opioid Crisis
MAY 06, 2021
Tweaked Version of Ketamine Could Solve the Opioid Crisis
Medications that manage post-operative pain are some of the main entry points to opioid addiction and overdose in the US ...
JUN 03, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Antibiotics Ineffective Against Lung-Scarring Disease
JUN 03, 2021
Antibiotics Ineffective Against Lung-Scarring Disease
Researchers behind a large trial of antibiotics for chronic lung diseases have found that that the drugs are ineffective ...
JUN 24, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
The Curiosity About Caterpillar Venom
JUN 24, 2021
The Curiosity About Caterpillar Venom
It seems like Australia is home to some of the world's deadliest animals, like taipan snakes and box jellyfish. Even the ...
JUL 15, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Terpenes Provide Pain Relief in Mice
JUL 15, 2021
Cannabis Terpenes Provide Pain Relief in Mice
Cannabis terpenes, the part of cannabis plants responsible for its smell and taste, may be able to relieve pain both by ...
JUL 29, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
What is Ivermectin and Can it Treat COVID?
JUL 29, 2021
What is Ivermectin and Can it Treat COVID?
Lab tests in 2020 found that the widely available drug ivermectin had a weak effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that unf ...
Loading Comments...