Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Dementia

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A new study has confirmed an association between proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – drugs that treat heartburn, peptic ulcers, and other acid-related disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract – and increased risk for dementia in older patients.

An earlier study by the same researchers found the same connection between PPI use and dementia risk, although the current study is larger and based on information from a pharmaceutical database rather than on medical records, as the previous one was.

The new study, by Willy Gomm, PhD, from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany, and colleagues, and published online February 15 in JAMA Neurology, is important, as PPIs are among the most frequently prescribed drugs and their use has been increasing sharply; especially among the elderly.

“Unfortunately, overprescribing of PPIs is reported frequently,” said study coauthor Britta Haenisch, PhD, also from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

According to some research, up to 70% of all PPI prescriptions could be inappropriate, she told Medscape Medical News. Read the full article here.