This research was published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
While the study shows an association between acid reflux drugs and dementia, it does not prove that the drugs cause the general decline in function that impairs the ability to do everyday activities, the authors noted.
"Our study found that people who take acid reflux medications called proton pump inhibitors for 4 1/2 years or more may have a higher risk of dementia compared to people who do not take these medications. We did not find a higher risk of dementia with shorter-term use," the study's senior and corresponding author, Dr. Kamakshi Lakshminarayan, told UPI via email.
Lakshminarayan is a professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.
The major proton pump inhibitors sold in this country are omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and pantoprazole (Protonix).
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