Anticholinergic drugs that have been prescribed for depression, bladder conditions, and Parkinson’s in over 27 million patients have been linked to a significant increase in dementia in a dose-dependent manner (higher the dose, the higher the risk).
This study was not a randomized controlled trial which, of course, means causation cannot be established. However, the anticholinergic drugs were prescribed for a wide-range of conditions including depression, bladder conditions, and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, the link to dementia was dose-dependent meaning those taking higher doses had a higher dementia risk. Both of these points strengthen the data and suggest that physicians and patients should consider the potential risk of long-term cognitive effects that these drugs may have.