Dementia and Incontinence Treatment: News Alert!

Jasmine Schmidt Health Guide
  • This "news" is actually several weeks old, but it's interesting and you may find it helpful, so better late than never. 

     

    Here's one of the news reports: Bladder and dementia therapy may be incompatible

     

    At the beginning of May major news outlets began reporting on the findings of two new studies showing that older people on medication for dementia who were also taking anticholinergic drugs, a common treatment for incontinence, experienced a decline in thinking skills and memory.

     

    About a third of individuals on medication for dementia are also on medication for incontinence, so this news could have a big impact on the treatment and quality of life for a great number of people.

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    Of course this news presents an important dilemma. If the medications for dementia and incontinence somehow cancel each other out (as it is suspected, since the two kinds of drugs work in opposite ways), patents, doctors and caregivers may be faced with choosing only one treatment.

     

    The "first priority" will usually be to treat the dementia - an inarguably important quality of life (and safety) issue. However, the issues associated with incontinence cannot be ignored. Aside from the dignity matter involved in incontinence, physical injury can occur from falls while rushing to the bathroom during a leakage incident, and people are at risk of depression and emotional withdrawal as they become self conscious about going out in public with incontinence.

     

    Yet another reason why we need companies to continue searching for more options for the treatment of incontinence. There is truly no "one size fits all" solution to this challenge.

     

    Jasmine Schmidt is the Director of Education with the Simon Foundation for Continence, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and education to individuals with incontinence. For more information, please visit www.simonfoundation.org

Published On: June 24, 2008