Protecting Your Brain: How Stomach Medication Can Increase Dementia Risk

2023-09-29 16:14:52

Certain drugs to treat gastroesophageal reflux and ulcers may significantly increase the risk of dementia. Take stomach medicine to avoid harming your body. Experts have 3 suggestions. (Shutterstock)

Certain stomach medications, such as the familiar proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can relieve stomach pain but may also have more dangerous consequences later in life. New research suggests that certain drugs used to treat acid reflux and ulcers may significantly increase the risk of dementia when taken long-term.

Recently published in Neurology (Neurology), a study in the journal Sounds the Alarm for the More Than 15 Million Americans Taking PPIs. The most common drugs used to treat chronic stomach problems are esomeprazole (Nexium), omeprazole (Prilosec), and lansoprazole (Prevacid). The recent rise in over-the-counter PPIs means millions of Americans are also taking these medications without a prescription.

Observed risk over 5.5 years of use

The study analyzed 5,712 people over the age of 45, with an average age of 75, who had no symptoms of dementia. Researchers reviewed the medications they took during study visits and annual phone calls and found that more than a quarter (1,490 people) used PPIs.

Participants were divided into four groups: non-users, short-term users within 3 years, users between 2.8 and 4.4 years, and long-term users over 4.4 years. It was found that within 5.5 years of taking it, 10% of people developed dementia.

After adjusting for factors such as age, sex, race, blood pressure and diabetes, PPI use for more than 4.4 years was still associated with a 33% higher risk of dementia than patients who did not use PPIs. No increased risk was found in people with short-term use.

Kamakshi Lakshminarayan, a co-author of the paper and a Ph.D. in cognitive science, told The Epoch Times, emphasizing that the study shows association, not causation.

The study also has several notable limitations. Dr. Henry Jen, a senior gastroenterologist at Northwell Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York, told The Epoch Times that drug users self-report once a year, which may miss nuances; the study did not assess non- With the use of prescription (OTC) PPIs, the dosage of OTC preparations is usually lower than that of prescription PPIs. Henry Jen was not involved in the research.

Patients should talk to their doctor before switching medications, as this may make symptoms worse.

Short-term use may also be risky

In addition to evidence that PPIs pose cognitive risks, a small 2015Researchfound that even short-term use may impair brain function.

The study randomly divided 60 volunteers into six groups. Five studies examined the side effects of different PPIs (omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, pantoprazole, and esomeprazole), and one study was a control group.

All groups use “Cambridge Neuropsychological TestThe Automated Battery conducted five computerized neuropsychological tests, once at the beginning of the study and once a week after the end of the study.

Study results showed that PPI users had statistically and clinically significant impairments in visual memory, attention, executive function, and work and planning functions.

“All PPIs have some significant effects on cognition,” the authors write. They say that while these adverse effects may initially go unnoticed, in the long term they may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

PPIs may cause nutritional deficiencies and affect cognition

Anti-acid drugs deplete several types of enzymes important for brain healthMultivitamins and Mineralslevels, including vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium.

“While these risks are thought to be relatively low in the general population, they may be evident in older and malnourished patients, as well as in patients on chronic hemodialysis and concomitant PPI therapy,” the study authors wrote.

lost nutrients
brain related functions
nerve signal transmission
memory formation
Vitamin B12
Making chemicals that affect cognition
Deliver oxygen to the brain
Vitamin C
Protect brain cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage
memory formation and cognition
Vitamin D
Brain development and cognition

Source: National Library of Medicine, NIH (The Epoch Times).

someResearchsuggest that B12 supplements may only be effective if started before neuronal damage begins in midlife.

Gastroenterologist 3 recommends taking care of stomach problems

While some conditions require PPIs, such as tumors that secrete too much fluid and Barrett’s esophagus (which is characterized by damage to the esophagus from acid reflux), according to Dr. Jen, doctors prescribe these drugs too often and patients overuse them. , “Especially if taken for a long time.” In this regard, he has three suggestions:

● Potential health risks can be reduced by continually reassessing the need for PPIs and discontinuing use when they no longer work.

● Gastric symptoms can also be minimized by making lifestyle changesincluding losing weight, avoiding food triggers and snacking later, and keeping your head elevated in bed.

“These actions can often reduce or eliminate the need for PPIs,” Dr. Jen said.

● Consider minimally invasive treatment,Non-drug options include surgery and newer endoscopic procedures, such as transoral incisionless fundoplication. This minimally invasive treatment strengthens the muscles between the esophagus and stomach to prevent gastroesophageal reflux without surgery.

For the English report, please visit the English Epoch Times website.Heartburn Medication May Increase Dementia Risk」。◇

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Editor in charge: Li Fan

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