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Three types of drug cause forgetfulness in the elderly

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Starting to forget things? Before you blame it on getting older, it could be the medication you’re taking, especially if it’s for insomnia, anxiety or allergies.
Up to 90 per cent of people who are over the age of 65 are taking at least one prescription drug, and 18 per cent of these complain of memory loss and general cognitive problems.
Suspecting a link between drugs and memory loss, researchers from the Montreal Geriatric University Institute discovered that the benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety and insomnia, consistently cause memory loss and affect concentration, while antihistamines, for allergic reactions, and tricyclic antidepressants cause attention loss and impair the ability to process information.
The research backs up the recommendation made by the American Geriatrics Society earlier this year that the over-65s should avoid all sleeping pills, first generation antihistamines and tricyclic antidepressants “at all costs”.
(Source: Montreal Geriatric University Institute website).

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