Thursday, September 25, 2014

Study Links Anxiety Drugs to Alzheimer’s Disease

By Paula Span, NYT
September 24, 2014 5:00 am

I swear I don’t go looking for alarming news about benzodiazepines, drugs widely prescribed for insomnia and anxiety. But it shows up with some frequency, so, mindful of your fervidly held views on the subject, I am donning a hazmat suit to bring you the latest findings from the medical journal BMJ.

They’re disturbing.

In previous posts, I reported that long-term use by older people of drugs called sedative-hypnotics, which includes benzos (like Ativan, Xanax, Valium and Klonopin) and the related “z-drugs” (Ambien, Lunesta), has for years caused concern among some researchers.

Some readers took exception, arguing that critics minimize the miseries of chronic sleeplessness, reflexively condemn all drug dependence or condescendingly assume older people can’t make smart decisions. “The Ambien I use is low dose and I am not an idiot,” commented a miffed Margaret Moffitt of Roanoke, Va.

(More here.)

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