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[Report] Anticholinergic burden for prediction of cognitive decline or neuropsychiatric symptoms in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia

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Key messages

Anticholinergic medicines may increase the risk of death in older adults who have dementia. However, the evidence is low certainty, and we cannot say for certain if the anticholinergic medicines cause death, or if they are simply more likely to be used by people who are already at an increased risk of dying due to ongoing health problems. 

We cannot draw firm conclusions for the risk that anticholinergic medicines pose to the development of other undesirable clinical outcomes, such as further deterioration of memory and thinking, or behavioural and psychological issues. More research is needed to establish whether anticholinergic medicines cause unintended problems for older adults who have dementia.

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    Feb 07, 2024

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