There are many consequences to the medications we use, many of which can be deadly if not taken properly. That is why it is always important to have frequent doctor’s appointments with your primary care physician. However, when you or your aging parent is getting older and can’t handle medications any long, it is important to have a home health care assistant in Sterling Heights who will ensure that only the greatest care and precautions are taken.

We do our best to stay informed of all of the latest discoveries in health care, especially when these studies apply particularly to older adults. In this way, we are able to inform our clients best, understanding all of the side effects of their medications so we can be adequately prepared for any situation. Once such study was published by The BMJ in late 2014, stating that there is a noticeable link between use of anti-anxiety medications and Alzheimer’s disease.

Note: Difference Between Causation And Correlation

While the study specifically finds a correlation between the extended use of anti-anxiety meds and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, no study can say that the use of these anxiety medications causes Alzheimer’s. This is an important distinction.

Fast Facts About This Study:

  • The active ingredient associated with these findings is benzodiazepine.
  • This chemical is found in many anti-anxiety and sleep medications, including:
    • Ativan
    • Xanax
    • Valium
    • Klonopin
    • Ambien
    • Lunesta
    • And Others
  • Those who took doses of these meds daily for 90 – 180 days increased their risk for Alzheimer’s over 30 percent.
  • Those who took doses daily for 180+ days increased their risk for Alzheimer’s over 84 percent.

Avoiding Reverse Causation

Because the study was so carefully performed, there is no way to assume a reverse causation, i.e. the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s (sleeplessness and anxiety) drove the need for the medication. In fact, because the doctors only included patients who hadn’t taken any of the listed medications five years before their diagnosis, reverse causation was indirectly disproved.

We understand that Alzheimer’s disease is a serious threat to older adults’ health, which is why our home health care professionals take special efforts to inform our clients and their families about the risks of all of their medications. Contact us today and see how we can help.