Drug therapies for chronic conditions and risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias: A scoping review

Johanna Thunell, Yi Chen, Geoffrey Joyce, Douglas Barthold, Paul G. Shekelle, Roberta Diaz Brinton, Julie Zissimopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Most older Americans use drug therapies for chronic conditions. Several are associated with risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). Methods: A scoping review was used to identify drug classes associated with increasing or decreasing ADRD risk. We analyzed size, type, and findings of the evidence. Results: We identified 29 drug classes across 11 therapeutic areas, and 404 human studies. Most common were studies on drugs for hypertension (93) or hyperlipidemia (81). Fewer than five studies were identified for several anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory drugs. Evidence was observational only for beta blockers, proton pump inhibitors, benzodiazepines, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. For 13 drug classes, 50% or more of the studies reported consistent direction of effect on risk of ADRD. Discussion: Future research targeting drug classes with limited/non-robust evidence, examining sex, racial heterogeneity, and separating classes by molecule, will facilitate understanding of associated risk, and inform clinical and policy efforts to alleviate the growing impact of ADRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • dementia
  • drug therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Drug therapies for chronic conditions and risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias: A scoping review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this