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Posted May 13, 2013: by Bill Sardi
The revelation is large – and shocking. Senior Americans that take commonly-prescribed drugs such as sleeping pills, antihistamines, blood thinners, diuretics, and many other medications, are blocking a nervous system transmitter (acetycholine, pronounced a-seat-a-coal-een)) that causes over 2 million cases of senile dementia in the US, not Alzheimer’s disease as most people mistakenly believe. (There are an estimated 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, half that may be re-classified now as “victims of drug-induced delirium.”)
A university-based center has now been established to help physicians identify the problem and substitute other less problematic drugs.
A list of the suspect drugs that induce dementia can be found at the Aging Brain Care website.
Even the university-based center that is tackling this horrific problem failed to underscore the magnitude of the problem. That may be an admission modern medicine is too embarrassed to put in print. That figure had to be derived from a compilation of published studies.
One study shows 11-30% of seniors hospitalized for delirium due to drug toxicity; another study shows 28% of patients with memory disorders were taking drugs that inhibit acetycholine; and another study stating approximately half of Alzheimer’s disease patients are using inappropriate medications. The problem is worldwide, not just confined to the US.
The Aging Brain Care center does reveal the fact that “approximately half of all dementia patients routinely receive contraindicated drugs” (drugs that interfere with nerve transmission called anti-cholinergics), but that estimation is buried in an online report to physicians.
These published studies point to an unrecognized pharmacologically-induced mental health care disaster that is estimated to affect more than 2 million Americans. The magnitude of this misdiagnosis is balanced by the fact the adverse memory effects of these drugs are reversible with cessation of use. How modern medicine has hidden this fact for so long goes unexplained. Now, will modern medicine mount a corrective campaign to correct its ways? Over 2 million older Americans are mired in a state of drug-induced delirium and can be rescued from their plight. The American Medical Association (AMA) ought to manpower a task force to address this tragedy in a timely manner. The Aging Brain Center has the clinical assessment tools to launch this rescue effort. Whether this happens or not is a question that remains.
Even the very drugs that are prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients appear to hasten mental decline. Many of the drugs used to treat age-related memory loss are in the class of drugs that interfere with acetycholine, a fact that escapes recognition by many physicians. The case of an 80-year old man diagnosed as an Alzheimer’s patient is cited whose symptoms did not resolve until he was taken off many problematic drugs that interfere with acetycholine.
There are three antidotes to side effects produced by acetycholine-interfering drugs (called anti-cholinergics). These agents inhibit the enzyme (Acetycholinesterase) that degrades acetycholine and are known as Acetycholinesterase inhibitors. The three drugs are physostigmine, galantamine (both drug and dietary supplement) and huperzine, a safe and well-tested herbal supplement.
Huperzine has been shown to reverse the memory deficits produced by a acetycholine-interfering drug (scopolamine). Huperzine is said to be a more effective drug than Tacrine, a commonly-prescribed drug for Alzheimer’s.
Huperzine, usually prescribed in doses of 200 micrograms twice a day (more is not better), has been shown to improve dementia caused by strokes. Preliminary data indicates huperzine may be helpful for Alzheimer’s disease itself, though another study says it is largely ineffective. Yet, researchers continue to point to huperzine in positive terms.
Resveratrol (rez-vair-a-trol), known as a red wine molecule, is also documented as a potent antidote to drugs that block acetycholine.
Quercetin, found naturally in red onions, red apple peel and red wine, is also documented as a strong inhibitor of the enzyme that breaks down acetycholine (acetycholinesterase). Quercetin was found to be the most potent natural molecule in this regard.
The problems posed by drugs that interfere with acetycholine are reversible by substitution of other drugs, but they too produce unwanted side effects.
The university-based center only offers more drugs as alternatives. Yet there are safer and less problematic alternatives in the form of nutriceuticals. A chart of natural alternatives to drugs that interfere with acetycholine is provided below. © 2013 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.
|Non-Prescription Alternatives To Drugs That Interfere With Acetycholine (a-seat-a-coal-een), A Nerve Transmitting Molecule|
|Class of Drugs That Interfere With Acetycholine||Names Of Drugs That Interfere With Acetycholine||Natural alternatives|
|Antihistamines||Bromarest, Diamine, Dimetane, Nasahist, Allerest, Triaminic, Tavist, Atarax, Hyzine, Vistacon, Vistaril,||Vitamin C, quercetin|
|Antidepressants||Amytriptyline, Amoxapine, Clomipramine (Anafranil), Despiramine (Norpramin), Doxepin (Sinequan), Imipramine (Tofranil), Nortriptyline (Aventyl), Paroxetine(Paxil), Trimipramine (Surmontil)||High-dose vitamin D (particularly in winter)
SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine)
Resveratrol (low dose)
|Anti-epileptics||Carbamazepine (Tegretol)||Resveratrol, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)|
|Anti-emetics (anti-nausea)||Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Mecliizine (Bonine, Bonamine, Antivert), Promethazine (Phenergan), Scopolamine||Ginger, Vitamin B1, camomile|
|Analgesics||Meperidine (Demerol)||Ginger, resveratrol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin D|
|Muscle relaxants||Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), Methocarbamo (Robaxin)l||Magnesium, peppermint, licorice, parsley|