A recent study from the University of Bordeaux wanted to determine whether sleeping pills linked to Alzheimer’s. The findings indicated that taking prescription sleeping pills may increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s by 50%. This study only examined people ages 65 and older, thus isn’t clear how younger people are affected. Strong sedatives using benzodiazepines (like diazepam and temazepam), used to treat severe insomnia and anxiety were studied. These drugs are not prescribed for long-term use in assisted living care because they can cause dependency.
Alzheimer’s takes a long time to develop, and the University research showed that taking benzodiazepines for long-term periods (over six months) was a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. The study evaluated around 1,500 seniors with Alzheimer’s, analyzing over six years of medical history.
The results of this study are not entirely conclusive, as further research is needed. However, this conclusion is in line with what several other studies have found. This is not to scare you off of all forms of sleeping pills, but rather indicates that taking heavy sedative pills, containing benzodiazepines for long periods of time can cause Alzheimer’s in older adults. So be sure to follow instructions regarding the duration of your sleeping pill prescriptions. And ask your doctor about the effects that taking benzodiazepines may have on someone your age.