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5 Surprising Causes Of Alzheimer's Disease

Prevention Logo By Carrie Arnold of Prevention | Slide 1 of 5: <p>A class of medications called benzodiazepines, which include the popular drugs lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin), are frequently used to <a href="https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/anxiety-cure-with-hypnosis-and-chakra">treat anxiety</a> and <a href="https://www.prevention.com/health/natural-insomnia-strategies">insomnia</a>. Although studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of these drugs have only evaluated their short-term use (generally three months or so), many people take them long-term. A study published in the British Medical Journal followed 1,796 Canadians with Alzheimer's disease and 7,184 healthy controls for six years and found that taking benzodiazepines for more than three months was associated with up to a 51% increase in Alzheimer's disease.</p><p>The moral of the story? If you need benzodiazepines only on occasion, you're probably safe. If anxiety and insomnia are a regular issue for you, consider cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been found to effectively treat both conditions—without the harmful side effects of drugs. (Give one of these <a href="https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/16-natural-ways-to-relieve-your-anxiety">16 natural treatments a try to help relieve your anxiety</a>.)</p>

You're on anti-anxiety meds

A class of medications called benzodiazepines, which include the popular drugs lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin), are frequently used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Although studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of these drugs have only evaluated their short-term use (generally three months or so), many people take them long-term. A study published in the British Medical Journal followed 1,796 Canadians with Alzheimer's disease and 7,184 healthy controls for six years and found that taking benzodiazepines for more than three months was associated with up to a 51% increase in Alzheimer's disease.

The moral of the story? If you need benzodiazepines only on occasion, you're probably safe. If anxiety and insomnia are a regular issue for you, consider cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been found to effectively treat both conditions—without the harmful side effects of drugs. 

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