Is benzodiazepine use a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia? A literature review of epidemiological studies

  title={Is benzodiazepine use a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia? A literature review of epidemiological studies},
  author={H{\'e}l{\`e}ne Verdoux and Rajaa Lagnaoui and Bernard B{\'e}gaud},
  journal={Psychological Medicine},
  pages={307 - 315}
Background. A major public health issue is to determine whether long-term benzodiazepine use may induce cognitive deficits persisting after withdrawal. The aim of the present review was to examine findings from prospective studies carried out in general population samples exploring whether exposure to benzodiazepines is associated with an increased risk of incident cognitive decline. Method. Using a MEDLINE search and a hand-search of related references in selected papers, we retrieved original… 
Is Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use a Risk Factor for Cognitive Decline? Results of a Systematic Review
Little evidence of an association between long-term benzodiazepine use and a higher risk of cognitive decline among the general adult population was found and discrepancies among the results and inconsistencies regarding the cognitive domains affected and methodological limitations prevent definite conclusions.
Is there really a link between benzodiazepine use and the risk of dementia?
The body of evidence seems sufficient for avoiding prescriptions or renewals that are not fully justified and indiscriminate long-term use and if the causal nature of this association remains unproved, the reviewed material provides arguments for evoking a causal link.
Benzodiazepine use and risk of dementia: evidence from the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS)
The taking of benzodiazepines is associated with an increased risk of dementia, and men exposed in earlier phases showed a greater association than more recent exposure, counter to what one would expect if this was due to reverse causation.
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Risk of Dementia Associated with Benzodiazepine Use, After Controlling for Protopathic Bias
The findings indicate that the association between benzodiazepine use and dementia incidence is not purely an artefact due to protopathic bias, and reduction of inappropriate benzidiazepine prescription is likely to attenuate dementia risk.
Benzodiazepine use and risk of dementia: prospective population based study
The result was robust in pooled analyses across cohorts of new users of benzodiazepines throughout the study and in a complementary case-control study, and indiscriminate widespread use should be cautioned against.
Benzodiazepine use and risk of incident dementia or cognitive decline: prospective population based study
The risk of dementia is slightly higher in people with minimal exposure to benzodiazepines but not with the highest level of exposure, and these results do not support a causal association between Benzodiazepine use and dementia.
Benzodiazepines and risk of dementia in the elderly
Several assumptions were led to several assumptions about the putative mechanism explaining the relationship found between benzodiazepine use and dementia: (1) Benzodiazepines could be early markers of symptoms such as anxiety, depression or insomnia, which are potential prodromes or risk factors for this disease, and these drugs could also reduce the ability to use cognitive reserve in order to cope with early lesions of the disease during the preclinical stage.
Impact of long-term benzodiazepine use on cognitive functioning in young adults: the VISAT cohort
Long-term use of benzodiazepine leads to specific impairment in long-term memory only in women, according to analysis of covariance models adjusted for several potential confounders in men and women separately.
Effect of benzodiazepine discontinuation on dementia risk.
The risk of dementia was high for current users and decreased as the duration of BZD discontinuation lengthened, and further investigations are needed to replicate this association and explore the underlying mechanism that links long-term BzD use, BZd discontinuation, and the pathogenesis of neurocognitive dysfunction.
Association Between the Use of Non-benzodiazepine Hypnotics and Cognitive Outcomes: A Systematic Review
This review found no association between nBH use and dementia diagnosis, although there is a need for more research on more cognitive outcomes and nBh use patterns.


Benzodiazepine use and risk of dementia: a nested case-control study.
Benzodiazepines May Have Protective Effects Against Alzheimer Disease
There was a significantly lower incidence of Alzheimer disease in the BDZ+ group than in theBDZ- group, and it was found that benzodiazepines may have protective effects against the disease.
Persistence of cognitive effects after withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine use: a meta-analysis.
Despite the simple measures of cognitive functioning and psychopathology, and the approximation in pattern of psychotropic drug use, these results emphasize the importance of considering psychotropic drugs in studies of cognitive decline in elderly subjects.
Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older adults.
Compared with abstention, consumption of 1 to 6 drinks weekly is associated with a lower risk of incident dementia among older adults and generally similar relationships of alcohol use with Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia.
Alcohol and tobacco consumption as risk factors of dementia: a review of epidemiological studies.
Alcohol-related dementia: validation of diagnostic criteria.
  • D. Oslin, M. Cary
  • Medicine, Psychology
    The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
  • 2003
The results serve to validate the diagnostic criteria for ARD and suggest that abstinence may be of clinical value in treating patients with dementia and alcohol dependence and further research needs to be conducted to confirm the value of abstinence.
Alcohol consumption and risk of dementia: the Rotterdam Study
Benzodiazepines, memory and mood: a review
The present review focuses on the extent to which the amnestic effects of BZs are separable from their sedative and anxiolytic effects, and presents a conceptual framework for evaluating the interrelationship between the various effects.
Older adults and withdrawal from benzodiazepine hypnotics in general practice: effects on cognitive function, sleep, mood and quality of life
Findings suggest that, taken long-term, BZDs do not aid sleep and produces some subtle cognitive advantages for older people, yet little in the way of withdrawal symptoms or emergent sleep difficulties.