Natural Health

Are Your Prescriptions Giving You Dementia?

Are Your Prescriptions Giving You Dementia? about undefined
By now you’re well aware that what you eat, how much you sleep, your activity level, and your genetic make-up can affect your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And while you work hard to make smarter choices, there’s something else that can send your dementia risk through the roof! And conventional medicine and Big Pharma are 100 percent at fault. You see, new research shows that taking certain common prescription drugs can put your memory and independence in jeopardy. Here’s everything you need to know… It’s no secret that prescription drugs have their fair share of side effects. Depending on the drug, you could experience muscle pain, increased risk of diabetes, or even cancer. And that’s why researchers from the University of Plymouth wanted to see if there’s a link between taking prescriptions and dementia risk. For this first-of-its-kind study, experts used machine learning techniques to examine the health records of more than 33,000 dementia patients in Wales between 1990 and 2015. The scientists found specific patterns in a patient's medicine usage might cause a dementia diagnosis.

Dementia Patients Take More Drugs Before Diagnosis 

The data showed that people with dementia are likely to have taken more than three medications for other health conditions in the five years directly before their diagnosis, according to new research. The data revealed that over the 20 years before being diagnosed with dementia, 82.1 percent of patients began taking three or more medications. The research also uncovered distinct associations between particular types of medications and a dementia diagnosis.

Antibiotics, Heart Medications And Anti-rheumatic Drugs 

Among those people closest to diagnosis, 66.55 percent were taking multiple drugs for a combination of:
  • Respiratory or urinary infections
  • Joint diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism
  • Heart disease
And another 22 percent of patients were taking prescriptions for a combination of:
  • Infections
  • Joint diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism
  • Metabolic disease
  • Depression1 

Findings Important For Successful Dementia Treatment 

"Given the rise in dementia cases internationally, the need to understand how patterns of polypharmacy evolve before and after a dementia diagnosis are important for devising a safe treatment program for each patient,” said lead researcher Shangming Zhou, Professor of e-Health at the University of Plymouth. “Our aim in this study was to help doctors find ways to prescribe multiple items of dementia medication safely and without reducing their effectiveness. The use of machine learning has been vital in helping us understand how these patterns develop, and our hope is we can now use this knowledge to treat patients."2

Multiple Medications Linked To Other Health Problems 

Other studies show that folks taking more than one prescription drug may face additional health challenges. One study shows that folks who undergo hospital treatment and are taking multiple medications are more likely to be readmitted the year after being discharged.3 And another study shows that seniors on multiple drugs are more likely to experience falls, frailty, disability, and even death.4 So, if you’re on more than one prescription, now is the time to see if you really need them. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to do just that. I’m talking about a brown bag check-up.

Brown Bag Your Medicines 

Here’s what to do… Take all your current medications – from your general practitioner, specialists, and any other doctor – put them in a bag and take them to your next doctor’s appointment. Then, go through each medication and dosage to see whether they are still appropriate for you. You might be surprised at how many duplicate medicines or unnecessary drugs you take. In addition, it’s a good idea to look for natural alternatives to your medications—and there are many. From natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids to natural blood sugar-lowering compounds like cinnamon and vitamin D, you have more choices to help improve your health than you may realize. Now, this may sound like a daunting process, but it may just save your memory as well as your overall health.

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