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Dr. Camille Newton on how medications can cause dementiaDr. Newton wants to educate people on how medications can cause dementia and how to avoid these medications.

The only thing worse than having Dementia is taking care of a loved one with Dementia. Many people do not realize that a large number of medications can cause dementia.

Dr. Camille Newton is a home visiting physician. You may also know it has a traveling doctor or mobile doctor. It is such an important service for seniors that are not able to travel for doctor’s appointments. She focuses on minimizing medications, especially psychotropic pharmaceuticals to help senior’s brains stay healthier longer.

When medications are tested by the FDA to see if they are safe, they are not really tested to see if they cause brain failure.

While performing house calls she has seen the effect psychotropic medications have on people who take them for a long period of time.

Some examples of psychotropic drugs are:

  • Antipsychotics including Risperdal  or Haldol
  • Sedatives especially the benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Xanax, or Valium
  • Anti-depressants
  • Antihistamines

These are some pretty staggering and scary statistics!

According to Dr. Newton, Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Dementia. Nearly tripling risk within 3 years. Quitting reduces risk over time, to only 10% increase in risk 3 years after quitting. Benzodiazepine use quadruples the risk of suicide in the elderly. In one study, Benzodiazepines and hypnotics increased suicide risk by 14 times.

Antihistamines can have the anticholinergic effect. This means some of them block a certain neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This can have a detrimental effect on the brain over a long period of time. This includes Benadryl.

in monkeys, laboratory rats, and humans, the antipsychotics such as Haldol, showed a huge measurable shrinking of the brain within 8 weeks of use.

A person goes to the drug store and they have allergy symptoms. They could choose Claritin or Allegra (which are not anticholinergic) or they could choose Benadryl or Coricidin and end up with dementia within a few years.

Maybe Less is more?

Dr. Newton tells a fascinating story about “Pam” who is a rare case of dementia reversed by getting her off of her medications. Although she has had only a few cases of ‘total cure’, she’s had numerous patients improve dramatically when their anticholinergics were stopped.  These medications are so dangerous to our brains, and yet there is no warning label.  Many of them are over the counter.

A lot of people ask Dr. Newton,”what CAN I take.” Her response is, don’t look for something to take when you are having a problem. Don’t look for a pill to solve your problem and question every medication you are given.

*Please note:  Neither the Rock Your Retirement Show nor the host, Kathe Kline provide medical advice.  Please consult your own practitioner about any healthcare issues that you have.

If you would like to reach out to Dr. Newton, her email is docnewton@att.net

Today’s Freebie, Medications that can cause Dementia, Can be found at http://rockyourretirement.com/Medications

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