Impact of Anticholinergic Drugs on Dementia

In this Medical News Minute, Dr Bobby Lazzara highlights what may be definitive research linking use of anticholinergic drugs to cognitive decline in older adults.

In this Medical News Minute, developed exclusively for, Dr Bobby Lazzara reviews a first-of-its-kind study of the relationship between use of anticholinergic drugs (ADS) and cognitive decline in older adults. Study participants were cognitively normal older adults (mean age 73 years) from two very large longitudinal studies. Results of analyses of brain metabolism and atrophy and performance on standardized cognitive function tests point to significant clinical decline in older adults exposed to ADs. Authors discourage AD use when alternatives are available.


Risachar SL, McDonald BC, Tallman EF, et al. Association between anticholinergic medication use and cognition, brain metabolism, and brain atrophy in cognitively normal older adults. JAMA Neurol. 2016 April 18. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.0580. [Epub ahead of print]