A new study from the University of Eastern Finland has found the use of drugs such as benzodiazepine and benzodiazepine-like drugs was related to a 20% increased risk of stroke in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
It was observed during the study that use of benzodiazepines resulted in an increased risk of any stroke and ischemic stroke, with less significant association with hemorrhagic stroke.
The study was built on data derived from a nationwide register-based study (MEDALZ) conducted at the University of Eastern Finland in 2005-2011.
It included 45,050 people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, out of whom 22% were administered with benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine-like drugs.
Prior to this clinical study, benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like drugs were not known to trigger strokes or other cerebrovascular events. The study had also analysed the drug’s impact on cardiovascular risk factors, which were met with a negative result.
Study findings are expected to encourage a careful administration of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like drugs among people with Alzheimer’s disease since stroke is considered to be one of the primary causes of death in this population group.
The drugs were also associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Benzodiazepines work on the central nervous system and are used as sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, anti-convulsants and muscle relaxants.