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A 37-year-old female asked:

What type of drugs cause dementia or alzheimers?

3 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 53 years experience
Pseudo dementia : Drugs do not cause alzheimer's, but numerous medicines can make it far worse due to anti-cholinergic side effects, and many elderly pts can seem to be demented due to drug effects, which reverse when med is modified.
Dr. Maureen Nash
Geriatric Psychiatry 25 years experience
Alcohol: We have no evidence alzheimer's is caused by a drug. However chronic excessive alcohol use is associated with dementia. There are negative cognitive effects of many other drugs including marijuana and opiates but few dementia syndromes described. To cause dementia there would need to be brain damage.
Dr. Alan Steinberg
Psychiatry - Geriatric 39 years experience
There are many: Agents that can contribute to cognitive decline although none are known to specificallly cause alzheimer's disease. In general it is best to avoid what are known as anti-cholinergic agents in the elderly since these can cause side effects including cognitive worsening.
Last updated Nov 27, 2017

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