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Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment. 2015 Jan-Mar;8(1):35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.rpsm.2013.11.003. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

[Effect of anticholinergic drugs on cognitive impairment in the elderly].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Unidad de Investigación Enfermedad Alzheimer, Fundación CIEN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro Alzheimer Fundación Reina Sofía, Madrid, España.
2
Unidad de Investigación Enfermedad Alzheimer, Fundación CIEN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro Alzheimer Fundación Reina Sofía, Madrid, España; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, España. Electronic address: luis@aguera.es.
3
Unidad de Investigación Enfermedad Alzheimer, Fundación CIEN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro Alzheimer Fundación Reina Sofía, Madrid, España; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, España.

Abstract

The use of anticholinergic drugs is common in the elderly, even in people with cognitive impairment. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed (anticholinergic effects, anticholinergic and dementia) to define the effects of anticholinergic drugs in the elderly. We emphasized the search in patterns of use, the combined use with AChEIs, the measurement of the Serum Anticholinergic Activity, and the short-term and long-term cognitive effects. The conclusions are that the use of anticholinergic drugs is common in the elderly, even more so than the medical prescription of AChEIs in Alzheimer's disease. The use of anticholinergic drugs may result in cognitive impairment. In long-term use it may generate a worsening of cognitive functions. It can lead to a wrong diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or dementia, and they can also initiate signs of dementia. Greater cognitive effects appear when there is a previous deficit, but cognitive effects from anticholinergic drugs disappear in severe dementia. The presence of ApoEɛ4 increases the vulnerability for cognitive impairment when these drugs are employed.

KEYWORDS:

Actividad anticolinérgica en suero; Alzheimer's disease; Anticholinergic drugs; Demencia; Dementia; Deterioro cognitivo leve; Enfermedad de Alzheimer; Fármacos anticolinérgicos; Mild cognitive impairment; Serum anticholinergic activity

PMID:
25087132
DOI:
10.1016/j.rpsm.2013.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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