I have been on Klonopin since 2008, taking 1.5 mg since 2018. It’s the only drug that helps my anxiety. I’m almost 60 yrs old and am experiencing significant cognitive decline- can’t remember names, words, confusion, memory problems, etc. No “professional” can answer my question- does this drug cause dementia or Alzheimer’s?
Does Klonopin cause Alzheimer’s?
Question posted by Ohkayset on 17 March 2021
Last updated on 16 September 2022
I am an epidemiologist not a physician but I can find no references in Public Health Journals of benzodiazepines (Klonopin) causing the kind of changes in brain tissue seen via MRI in dementia and Alzheimer’s peoples brain. These changes are often referred to as plaques and tangles and the ethology of these permanent brain damage is complex. I can assure you that I have been on a low dose of Diazepam for 40 years due to a seizure disorder. I have seen a MRI of my brain and there’s no indication that I have Dementia. However addiction to benzodiazepine can be life threatening so if you don’t really need them you should consider Detoxing from them.
To reinforce masso's informative comment this is the conclusion of a peer reviewed and published study in the Journal of Clinical Neurology:
"In conclusion, this meta-analysis has yielded evidence that BDZ use is associated with dementia. This association is stronger in people using long-acting BDZs for longer durations. We suggest that ultra-short-acting BDZs should be prescribed and then tapered off while using other therapies in order to avoid dependence and other long-term adverse events."
Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School:
"If you have ever taken Valium, Xanax, or some other benzodiazepine to calm your nerves or sleep better, you may have felt woozy or hungover the next day. Experts have long assumed that people’s heads would clear once they stopped taking the drug. That may not be the case. A study published by the journal BMJ suggests that benzodiazepine use may promote the development of dementia.
A team of researchers from France and Canada linked benzodiazepine use to an increased risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In the study, the greater a person’s cumulative dose of benzodiazepines, the higher his or her risk of Alzheimer’s.
The association isn’t surprising given past research on the subject, but it still should be viewed with caution. “Benzodiazepines are risky to use in older people because they can cause confusion and slow down mental processes, ” says Dr. Anne Fabiny, chief of geriatrics at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance. “However, although there is an association, we still can’t say that benzodiazepines actually cause Alzheimer’s,” she cautions."
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