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dementia 88 articles

Antidepressants, antihistamines linked to increased risk of dementia

Commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medicines including antidepressants and antihistamines, have been strongly linked to an increased risk of dementia, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. All the drugs studied have what researchers call an “anticholinergic” effect, meaning they work by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and peripheral nervous system. Higher doses and prolonged use of the medications were linked to a higher risk in the elderly. The study did not specify brand names of medications involved in the research, but it does identify the types of drugs studied. They include tricyclic antidepressants; ... Read More

Antipsychotic drugs linked to kidney injury in elderly patients

Antipsychotic medications, including risperidone, can cause kidney injury, especially in elderly patients, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), and olanzapine (Zyprexa), are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other serious mental disorders. They are also frequently prescribed “off-label” to older adults to treat symptoms such as aggression or agitation associated with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other neurodegenerative diseases. The study found that older adults taking quetiapine, risperidone or olanzapine were one and a half times more likely to have acute kidney injury compared ... Read More

Controversial analysis suggests Actos may help protect users from dementia

The type 2 diabetes drug Actos could help ward off dementia, a new analysis has found. However, researcher say more analysis is needed as well as adverse side effects addressed before the medication can be recommended as a preventative measure. The analysis involved data from Germany’s biggest public health insurer, which included about 146,000 patients aged 60 or older. The patients were tracked from 2004 to 2010, during which time about 14,000 of them developed dementia. When prescriptions for Actos were factored into the analysis, researchers found that patients taking Actos had about a 6 percent decline in the likelihood ... Read More

New study raises questions about safety of testosterone replacement therapy

A new study raises questions about the link between testosterone replacement therapy and heart attacks. Researchers at the University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston, studied more than 25,000 men, all Medicare beneficiaries older than 65 who were treated with testosterone injections for up to eight years. These men were compared to about 19,000 men of the same age who did not use testosterone treatments. Researchers found that testosterone users were not at greater risk of having a heart attack compared to nonusers of testosterone therapy. Researchers did not track strokes, blood clots, dementia or death. The results contradict several ... Read More

NFL removes cap on proposed settlement for retired players who suffered head injuries

A $765 million award cap on a compensation program for retired National Football League (NFL) players suing the league for improper handling of concussions was eliminated, and funds will now be available for any retired player who develops a qualifying neuro-cognitive condition. The NFL had hoped the $765 million fund would be enough to resolve the lawsuits, however in January a Pennsylvania federal judge rejected the deal based on concerns that the dollar amount wasn’t enough to compensate all members in the class. The plaintiffs claim that brain injuries they suffered during their careers caused them dementia, depression, memory loss, ... Read More

Study links testosterone therapy to brain damage

Testosterone replacement therapy may cause brain damage in Caucasian men, a new study suggests, adding yet another strike against the increasingly popular hormone treatment. Testosterone treatments are approved to boost levels of the hormone in men experiencing symptoms of so-called Low-T, such as a diminished sex drive, fatigue, weight gain and muscle loss. In recent years, prescriptions for testosterone supplements have skyrocketed in the United States, leading many experts to worry that the drug is being given to men who don’t necessarily need it. In its natural form, testosterone helps protect the brain against free radicals, which can damage brain ... Read More

Type 2 diabetes may shrink brain tissue, lead to cognitive disorders

Long-term type 2 diabetes may shrink gray matter, the portion of the brain responsible for memory, emotions, decision-making and self control, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology. For each decade a person has diabetes, his brain looks about two years older than a non-diabetic, researchers found. For the study, researchers with the University of Pennsylvania analyzed MRI scans to evaluate brain structure of more than 600 patients with type 2 diabetes. They were surprised to find that diabetes was not linked to just the damaging effect of the tiny blood vessels in the brain, but by ... Read More

18 neurology patients exposed to fatal, degenerative brain disease

Eighteen patients in North Carolina may have been exposed to a rare but deadly brain disease while undergoing surgery with contaminated surgical equipment. The 18 patients underwent brain surgery within the past three weeks, during which surgeons used tools that had not been sufficiently sanitized after they were used on a patient on Jan. 18 who later tested positive for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). CJD is a rapidly degenerative and incurable neurological disorder similar to mad cow disease. It causes dementia, blindness, involuntary movements and coma. The disease kills 90 percent of infected patients within a year after symptoms begin. However, it ... Read More

Advances in medicine help with diagnosing, treating head injuries

Concussions are hardly a new diagnosis for football players. But how the conditions are diagnosed and treated have changed dramatically through the years, especially since researchers have found that sports-related head injuries can cause serious, long-term problems. Years ago, medical professionals only labeled a head injury a “concussion” if the athlete lost consciousness. However, researchers now say that only about one in 10 concussions result in loss of consciousness, and that head blows that don’t knock athletes out can be just as dangerous as the ones that do. Testing technology for head injuries has also been revised in recent years, ... Read More

Helmet design could help reduce concussions in football players

The Super Bowl is just days away and marks the end of National Football League season, during which players suffered a total of 121 concussions, an average of more than seven per week. Some experts say that helmets could be redesigned to be safer and ultimately reduce the number of head injuries sustained during play. Head injuries in professional football players and the long-term effects of these injuries have become as talked about as the Super Bowl itself. Recent studies have revealed that in many cases concussions have not been properly diagnosed or treated and that many players have retuned ... Read More