Public Release: 31-Jul-2014
Common drugs adversely impair older adults’ physical as well as cognitive functioning
INDIANAPOLIS — A class of medications previously linked to cognitive impairment in older adults also appears to negatively affect their physical functioning according to investigators from the Regenstrief Institute, the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, the University of East Anglia and several other United Kingdom institutions.
In a systemic review of more than a decade of studies on the effects of drugs with anticholinergic properties, they report that these drugs have a significant adverse effect on both cognitive and physical functioning, including the ability to feed and dress oneself. Anticholinergic medications affect the brain by blocking acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. They are sold over the counter as sleep aids and bladder leakage preventives and prescribed for many diseases including hypertension and congestive heart failure.
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