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The World in Medicine
August 17, 2011

Cognition and Anticholinergics

JAMA. 2011;306(7):694. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1154

Medications with anticholinergic activity increase the risk of cognitive impairment and death, report investigators from the United Kingdom and the United States (Fox C et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03491.x [published online ahead of print June 24, 2011]).

The researchers examined data from a 2-year study of 13 004 patients aged 65 years or older who were enrolled in the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Aging Study between 1991 and 1993. They used the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale ( and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) to evaluate the link between anticholinergic activity and cognitive decline during the 2-year study period.

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