FROM OUR EXPERTS
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The FDA recently announced increased safety warnings for those taking cholesterol lowering drugs , saying that they can cause memory loss, confusion and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes . Diabetes increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease . The new warnings are based on results from the latest clinical trials, plus adverse effects reported by patients, physicians and the drug companies.
Many of our aging parents are on a statin drug to control cholesterol . Keeping low density cholesterol (LDL) under control is thought to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. The drugs are generally effective in lowering cholesterol.
It was first thought that the main risk for those who took statins was liver damage, so blood work was needed on a regular basis to check for liver problems. Now, that seems to be less of a worry. However, these new warnings are a big concern for people keeping an eye on a loved one at risk for dementia.
Watch all medications for side...
We started our discussion about restless legs syndrome (RLS) in my recent blog, so let’s continue where we left off.
Mild symptoms of RLS occur in 5-15% of the general population, which makes it the second or third most common sleep disorder. Of these cases, only about 2-3% are considered clinically severe enough to require treatment. It appears to occur more commonly in females and can even affect children. Due to the difficult to describe leg sensations that are felt, children may be wrongly diagnosed with “growing pains” or even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). RLS symptoms occur more commonly as we age. Individuals who experience symptoms at a younger age tend to worsen as they get older, though there cases when the disease resolves spontaneously when the sufferer gets older.
Sleep disturbance is a major complaint in patients and is usually the main reason why they seek medical help. Though the dis...
Medications The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends medications for RLS or PLMD only for persons who fit strict diagnostic criteria, and who experience excessive daytime sleepiness as a result of these conditions. (Excessive daytime sleepiness results from nighttime sleeplessness due to RLS or PLMD symptoms). More research and physician training is needed to better diagnose and treat RLS with medications in children and adolescents. Little is known about the best way to treat RLS in general, but some experts suggest the following for adults: If lifestyle changes do not control the problem, over-the-counter pain relievers should be the first form of treatment. People with RLS should have a test for iron deficiency. If they are iron deficient, they should start treatment with iron supplements. Dopaminergic drugs (drugs that increase levels of dopamine) are the standard medicines for treating severe RLS, PLMD, or both. Other drugs may be helpful if dopaminergic drugs fail, or for pat...
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