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Association between anticholinergic drugs and risk of dementia

Roundup comments accompanied this briefing.


Anticholinergic drugs act on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the nervous system and are used to treat a range of conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, urinary incontinence, depression, and allergies.

Previous studies have identified a possible association between the use of anticholinergic drugs and the risk of developing dementia. Many of these studies have been fairly small or only investigated the relationship over a short time period, so scientists have now conducted a large case-control study to investigate the association over a period of twenty years.



Dr George Savva, Statistician at Quadram Institute Bioscience and visiting researcher at the School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia.

Dr Ian Maidment, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, Aston University

Prof Chris Fox, Clinical Professor, University of East Anglia

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