If you or someone you love has repeatedly used a certain class of drugs to help with gastric reflux or peptic ulcers, then you might want to be on the lookout. According to Fox News, those who use them are at higher risk for dementia. The report comes after a study of patients in Germany.
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The drugs are known as proton pump inhibitors (also called PPIs) and include popular prescriptions lansoprazole (Prevacid), esomeprazole (Nexium), and omepreazole (Prilosec). All of the drugs have been manufactured by AstraZeneca.
The current study doesn't provide any true diagnosis, but it did provide a statistical association between PPI prescriptions and dementia occurrences in the elderly. It also cannot prove that PPIs cause dementia, according to the senior author Britta Haenisch of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn, Germany.
"In our analysis we focused on long-term regular PPI prescription for at least 18 months," Haenisch has said.
In order to complete their research, the examiners look through medical records for more than 73,000 patients who were 75 and older between 2004 and 2011. Most of the patients were females.
Of those 73,000 people, 2,950 of them were classified as regular PPI users, which means that they had a prescription for one of the drugs every four or five months over a year and a half.
They classified 2,950 of those patients as regular PPI users, meaning they had at least one prescription for one of the drugs every four or five
During the study period, 29,510 people developed dementia.