Long-term use of benzodiazepines, often prescribed for anxiety and sleep problems, appears to be linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. A French-Canadian team of researchers have found a cumulative dose-effect association between exposure to benzodiazepines (over 90 days) and risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease; whereby past benzodiazepine use for three months is linked to an increased risk (up to 51%) of dementia. Taking benzodiazepines for more than 180 days is associated with a twofold increase in risk.
“Unwarranted long term use of these drugs should be considered as a public health concern”.
The latest findings broadly confirm earlier evidence reported by these researchers.
Briggs, H. (2014). Anxiety and sleeping pills ‘linked to dementia. London: BBC Health News, September 10th 2014.
This relates to:
Billioti de Gage, S. Moride, Y. [and] Ducruet, T. [et al] (2014). Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: case-control study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), September 9th 2014, Vol.349, g5205. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Prescription sleeping pills linked to Alzheimer’s risk. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, September 10th 2014.