Calming meds fuel dementia

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Long-term use of drugs commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia increased the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by as much as 51%, a team of French and Canadian researchers has found. They studied use of benzodiazepine drugs among nearly 8,000 seniors.

Over a six-year span, the researchers uncovered thousands of cases of Alzheimer's had developed. The longer the exposure to benzodiazepines, the greater the association with Alzheimer's.

The researchers cautioned providers to prescribe and distribute the drugs to seniors only after carefully weighing the potential benefits and risks.


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