A recent study revealed that there may be an association between proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and dementia in individuals over the age of 75. PPIs are found in a group of popular heartburn drugs, including Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid.
Researchers collected data from over 73,000 individuals from 2004 through 2011 by studying patients who regularly used PPIs. Researchers found that the PPI medications seemed to effect levels of amyloid beta and tau, two proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s. The study also found that people 75 years or older who regularly used PPIs had a 44 percent increased risk of dementia.
In 2013, more than 15 million Americas used prescription PPIs to reduce stomach acid and nausea. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, as many as 70 percent of PPI prescriptions have been inappropriately prescribed in the U.S.
The study is considered an association study since it used survey data. Further research and clinical trials will be needed to prove a cause-and-effect link.
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