An alarming number of older adults are being prescribed drugs that act on the central nervous system. These drugs are primarily being prescribed for depression, sleep problems, pain, and anxiety. New research demonstrates that in addition to the known side-effects of these drugs, they contribute to cognitive decline in the elderly.
"Central nervous system (CNS)-active medications (e.g., benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, traditional antipsychotics) are commonly prescribed to older adults and represent a frequent cause of adverse medication effects, including problems with mobility, falls, and cognition.[1-3] Medications that adversely affect cognition in particular lead to greater morbidity and healthcare use by older people.[1-3] More importantly, CNS medication-induced cognition problems may be reversed by adjusting or discontinuing these medications altogether."
"This study confirms a strong association between highest combined daily dose of CNS medication use and cognitive decline."
These findings add urgency to implementing alternative means of treatment for the disorders that these drugs are used to treat. Chiropractic care has been shown to be more effective than drug therapy for most types of chronic pain (do a search on my site for "pain"), sleep education and herbal products help many people with sleep issues, and lifestyle changes including stress reduction techniques, diet changes and supplementation with omega-3's and amino acids help most people with anxiety and depression.
Increasingly the public needs to be educated as to the full scope of chiropractic care. Often thought of as "alternative" treatment, chiropractic espouses natural methods to bring about changes in humankind. These practices are mainstream, proven, and methodical. In the rare cases that they fail, nothing is lost and less conservative, more experimental therapies such as prescription drugs may be tried!
Read the study here.