The intake of drugs commonly used to treat acid reflux and stomach ulcers, may not be linked to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in older adults, a study has claimed.
Drugs like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid — called proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among the most prescribed drugs to treat a wide range of disorders, including gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The findings, led by researchers from the University of Washington-Seattle, have showed that patients even with high cumulative exposure of PPIs may not develop dementia.
For the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the researchers included 3,484 adults aged 65 and older.
Participants did not have dementia at the beginning of the study and were followed for an average of about 7.5 years.
Overall, almost 24 per cent of study participants developed dementia. Of these individuals, just 670 people developed possible or probable Alzheimer’s disease.
However, previous studies have pointed out a link between intake of PPIs like pantoprazole or rabeprazole with double the risk of developing stomach cancer, fractures and chronic kidney disease.
While these safety concerns with long-term PPI use exist, the results from this study suggest that dementia is not linked to taking a PPI, the researchers said.