Anticholinergic Drugs and Dementia

Metformin and Dementia

Angie Szumlinski News

In a study published on medRxiv (not yet peer reviewed), researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes, over aged 50, and new users of Metformin, had about a 20% lower rate of dementia than patients taking Sulfonylureas (Glipizide, Glucotrol, etc.). The new users of Metformin also had about a 20% lower rate of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and vascular dementia. Why does this matter? Because type 2 diabetes is a well-established risk factor for dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, so effective treatment is important! 

Imagine if a common drug like Metformin could actually end up being a novel treatment for preventing these neurological conditions! This study supports the current findings of other studies that Metformin has potential neuroprotective benefits. Research is conducted in many different forms and outcomes can be challenged/questioned, for example, some small cohort groups can skew outcomes. However, this study was the largest of its kind and used a variety of statistical methods to reduce bias and validate the results.  

As providers of care for elderly people, this type of research should trigger you to think! Think about the residents you are caring for with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Review the medication they are taking to be sure it is the best option for them individually. You may actually improve their long-term health by being inquisitive. Have a discussion with your attending physicians. Ask the question, are the results of this study something we should be considering as we develop our pharmacological plan of care? Worth a discussion for sure! Stay well and stay informed!