Gastric reflux drugs may be tied to dementia risk

One more reason to not take these drugs long term

Well, I already knew that taking the PPI’s long term were not a good idea (you can read that post here), and now the potential link to dementia?

As reported by NPR and lots of other news outlets:

The latest concern is that PPIs might increase the risk for dementia. Britta Haenisch and colleagues at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn studied 73,679 people ages 75 and older. The researchers found regular PPI users had at least a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with those not using the drugs.

The researchers caution that the risk could only be considered an “association,” until more research could be conducted to produce more conclusive evidence. But the findings indicate “the avoidance of PPI medication may contribute to the prevention of dementia.”

How PPIs might increase the risk for dementia is unclear. But other researchers recently reported that, in the brains of mice, PPIs seem to increase levels of a damaging protein that accumulates in the brains of dementia patients, known as beta-amyloid.

In an editorial accompanying the study in the journal JAMA Neurology, Lewis Kuller of the University of Pittsburgh wrote that the findings “provided an important and interesting challenge to evaluate the possible association,” which is a “very important issue given” how commonly the drugs are used by the elderly, who are already at increased risk for dementia.

As reported by NPR: “The teaching for many years was that these drugs were quite safe,” says John Clarke, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “But there is data that’s emerging that suggests PPIs may not be as safe as we think they are.”

So, stick with the basics that I talk about here to manage your reflux.