Patients receiving proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) regularly had a “significantly increased risk of incident dementia compared with the patients not receiving PPI medication”, researchers wrote.
“The avoidance of PPI medication may prevent the development of dementia,” they wrote. “This finding is supported by recent pharmacoepidemiological analyses on primary data and is in line with mouse models in which the use of PPIs increased the levels of β-amyloid in the brains of mice.”
“This is a very important issue given the very high prevalence of pharmacological drugs’ long-term use in elderly populations that have a very high risk of dementia,” wrote Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH, of the University of Pittsburg in an editorial accompanying the study. “Whether PPIs actually cause an increase in the risk of dementia is therefore an important question requiring further evaluation.”
However, the researchers’ use of a large administrative (insurance) database restricts the quality of the diagnosis of dementia and types of dementia, according to Kuller. “The availability of their prior study with a smaller sample size but a more detailed evaluation of dementia enhances the possible validity of their conclusions.”