Taking a number of completely different drugs on the identical time to deal with concurrent well being circumstances — often known as polypharmacy — could also be related to cognitive decline in individuals newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, in keeping with a current examine.
Decreasing the variety of drugs prescribed can be one possibility to attenuate the doubtless dangerous results of polypharmacy on sufferers’ cognitive skills, the researchers stated.
The examine, “Polypharmacy Associated with Cognitive Decline in Newly Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study,” was revealed within the journal Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders.
Polypharmacy — mostly outlined as taking 5 or extra drugs concurrently for various circumstances — is an rising concern, significantly for the aged. It has been related to falls, antagonistic remedy occasions, and hospitalization, researchers say.
A earlier study discovered that polypharmacy is also related to cognitive impairment in older adults who stay independently.
Nonetheless, its results on the cognitive operate of newly identified sufferers with Parkinson’s illness — a neurodegenerative dysfunction related to cognitive impairments and, at later stages, dementia — are nonetheless unclear.
On this examine, investigators from the University of Miyazaki in Japan got down to discover the doable affiliation between polypharmacy and cognitive decline in individuals who have been just lately identified with Parkinson’s.
The cross-sectional examine enrolled 131 sufferers who had been consecutively hospitalized on the University of Miyazaki Hospital and have been newly identified with Parkinson’s. Members have been divided into two teams, relying on whether or not they met the factors for polypharmacy — which was outlined for this examine as taking six or extra drugs to deal with completely different well being circumstances.
Cognitive operate was assessed in all examine individuals utilizing the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and in contrast between the 2 teams. All comparisons have been normalized for potential confounders, together with age, intercourse, training and medical historical past.
Among the many 131 sufferers (imply age 69.eight years, 46.6% male) enrolled within the examine, 43 (32.eight%) met the factors for polypharmacy.
After performing information changes for doable confounders, researchers discovered that the people who met the polypharmacy standards had considerably decrease MMSE scores in contrast with those that didn’t (26.2 versus 27.7). These outcomes have been indicative of cognitive decline.
“That is the primary examine to show an affiliation between polypharmacy and cognitive decline in sufferers with newly identified PD [Parkinson’s disease], in addition to in community-dwelling older adults,” or individuals residing independently, the researchers stated.
“Medicine discount could be a promising intervention to stop the event of dementia in sufferers with early PD,” the investigators stated.
“Additional potential research are wanted to verify whether or not remedy discount in sufferers with newly identified PD can enhance cognitive operate and stop the event of dementia,” they added.
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