Medication fog can mimic or worsen dementia in the elderly

Medication fog can mimic or worsen dementia in the elderly
This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs displayed in a glass flask in Taylorsville, Utah. About 91% of people over 65 take at least one prescription medicine and 41% use five or more -- what doctors call polypharmacy. The risk of side effects or interactions rises as the pill burden does, and one doctor often is unaware of what others have already prescribed for the same patient. (Source: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(AP) - As the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease rises, doctors are looking at improper medication use that can mimic dementia or make symptoms worse.

More than 40% of older Americans take five or more medicines and the risk of side effects or drug interactions rises as the number does.

Medicines that may have been OK when someone was younger can pose problems when used later in life.

The American Geriatrics Society keeps a list of potentially troublesome ones and offers tips on ensuring proper medicine use.

The first step: getting a health expert to review the big picture.

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