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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007 Jan;62(1):83-5.

Serum anticholinergic activity and motor performance in elderly persons.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania, USA. nebesrd@upmc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Medications prescribed to elderly persons often have an anticholinergic effect, as do many commonly used over-the-counter drugs. Anticholinergic medications are known to produce psychomotor slowing, especially in older persons.

METHODS:

The present study examined whether the cumulative anticholinergic load present in the serum of community volunteers was associated with decrements on tests of psychomotor performance (gait speed and simple manual response time) known to predict falls in elderly persons.

RESULTS:

Serum anticholinergic activity (SAA) was relatively low in this group; however, an elevated SAA was associated with a significant slowing in both gait speed and simple response time.

CONCLUSION:

Cumulative anticholinergic burden may be one of the factors contributing to an increased risk of falls in the older population.

PMID:
17301043
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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