Study Links Prescription Drugs to Alzheimers

Posted on : May 28, 2015

Here's an American article that our team found very interesting...


A recent study just published in the British Medical Journal reports that taking benzodiazepines, common drugs prescribed for anti-anxiety and insomnia, is associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Common benzodiazepines include: Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam) and Klonopin (clonazepam). The authors of the study reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that the use of benzodiazepines for three months or more was associated with a 51% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.


In an accompanying commentary written by Zosia Kmietowicz, it was pointed out that in 2012 the American Geriatrics Society had updated its list of inappropriate drugs for older people to include benzodiazepines, precisely because of their unwanted cognitive side effects. Yet, almost half of the elderly population continues to be prescribed these dangerous medications, and are continuing to take them.


In another article appearing with the BMJ study, Michael McCarthy discusses another study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine. This study shows that more than half of patients with advanced dementia in U.S. nursing homes are prescribed medicines of questionable benefit.


Today’s nursing home resident is taking on average over 30 different prescription drugs. As the Baby Boomer generation moves into their senior years, they are seen as a very lucrative market for the pharmaceutical industry. In 2013, drug maker Johnson & Johnson paid out the largest criminal settlement in the history of the U.S., over $2.2 billion for illegally marketing drugs to the elderly and other vulnerable people in our society, including children and the mentally disabled.


The best-selling drug in the history of the pharmaceutical age was Lipitor, a drug marketed to lower cholesterol, and taken mainly by seniors. Lipitor’s patent expired in late 2011, allowing cheaper statin generics to come into the market. But during its strongest years in sales, Lipitor almost outsold all other pharmaceutical drugs combined, making it the most profitable drug in the history of the world (over $140 billion in sales to date).


In early 2012, after the patent on Lipitor expired, the FDA issued “new” warnings about the dangers of statin drugs, which include liver injury, memory loss, diabetes, and muscle damage. Today, over 1000 lawsuits have been filed since April of this year against the drug company selling Lipitor, for causing diabetes and other side effects of the drug. Attorneys predict the lawsuits could reach over 10,000.


In 2012, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., proposed an amendment to S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. This amendment sought to:


“combat the costly, widespread and inappropriate use of antipsychotics in nursing homes. The overuse of antipsychotics is a common and well-recognized problem that puts frail elders at risk and costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.


We need a new policy that helps to ensure that these drugs are being appropriately used to treat people with mental illnesses, not used to curb behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s or other dementias.


This amendment responds to alarming reports about the use of antipsychotic drugs with nursing home residents. It’s intended to empower these residents and their loved ones in the decisions about the drugs prescribed for them.


This measure is responsive to mounting evidence that antipsychotics are being misused and overused in the nursing homes we trust to care for our loved ones. The amendment will do what is necessary to curb this deeply concerning practice, putting the power to make key health care decisions back into the appropriate hands and eliminating unnecessary costs to taxpayers.” (Source.)


Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical lobby is the most powerful lobby in the world today, and this amendment was defeated.


So, is Alzheimer’s a Prescription-Drug-Induced Disease?


In 2011, Dr. Stephanie Seneff published research looking at the effects of a low-fat diet and statin drugs in relation to Alzheimer’s Disease. This research noticed a strong correlation between insulin resistance in the brain and early Alzheimer’s Disease.


The study’s main conclusions...

Read more at: healthimpactnews.com/2014/over-medication-of-elderly-becoming-epidemic-new-study-links-prescription-drugs-to-alzheimers/#sthash.n0iT4nlS.dpuf