A study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that past benzodiazepine use for 3 months or more was linked to a 51% increased risk of dementia. The study involved about 2,000 cases of Alzheimer’s disease in adults aged over 66 who had been prescribed benzodiazepine, the main ingredient in Xanax and Valium among other anti-anxiety medications. They were compared with about 7,000 healthy people of the same age. An increased risk was found in those on benzodiazepines.
The question that remained was whether benzodiazepine increased the risk of dementia, or if the underlying anxiety being treated with the medication is a sign that dementia is underway. Via BBC and Harvard Health Publications. Posted September 12, 2014.