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Older people taking antidepressants could triple their risk of developing dementia: Study
Postmedia News
Published:
June 11, 2019
Updated:
June 11, 2019 5:59 PM EDT
Image of sad woman suffering from senility
Scientists have long studied links between depression and dementia, but could a personís cognitive decline actually be caused by the drugs used to treat a mood disorder?
A new study suggests that people taking antidepressants in middle or old age could have triple the risk of developing dementia.
Researchers found that the rate of dementia was 3.4 times higher among people who took antidepressants after the age of 50.
While the researchers did not name a specific drug or examine specific dosages of drugs, they said they hope the findings would encourage people and doctors to weigh the risks and benefits of antidepressant treatment in old age.
Published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry last month, the study of more than 71,000 participants, was conducted by Israeli, Swedish and American researchers in Israel over a period of 10 years between 2002 and 2012.
None of the participants had been diagnosed with dementia prior to the study. All of them were over the age of 60 by the studyís end.
The participants were split into groups of those who had taken antidepressants during the study and those who hadnít.
Amongst the antidepressant-takers, 11% of them developed dementia.
Only 2.6% of the people who didnít take antidepressants experienced symptoms of mental decline.
The researchers suggested antidepressant use may cause nerve damage, stop the growth of nerve cells, or may be toxic to normal cells in the brain, the Daily Mail reported.
While the study linked antidepressants with dementia, one scientist told the Daily Mail that the drugs might not be to blame for oneís cognitive decline.
ďIt used to be thought that depression was a risk factor for dementia but when you look at the longer term, over 20 years before someone develops dementia, that isnít the case,Ē Rob Howard, a professor in old age psychiatry at University College London, told the Daily Mail.
ďIt seems to be only proximal to diagnosis of dementia and people with depression have probably had progressive (brain damage) for a number of years.Ē
http://ajgponline.org/article/S1064-...390-2/abstract
http://dailymail.co.uk/health/articl...-dementia.html
http://torontosun.com/health/diet-fi...dementia-study