Several medications used to treat schizophrenia, including antipsychotics, such as clozapine and olanzapine, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers, have central anticholinergic activity.
Use of multiple medications with anticholinergic properties may boost the risk for dementia in patients with schizophrenia, new research suggests.
Researchers found that a higher anticholinergic burden in schizophrenia patients is associated with poor performance on tests of memory, learning, and visuospatial ability.
“We need to be mindful of the anticholinergic properties of the medications we’re using and their potential negative impact on cognition. This is especially true as our patients are getting older and more susceptible to the anticholinergic properties of these medications,” lead investigator Tarek K. Rajji, MD, chief of adult neurodevelopment, the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, and deputy physician-in-chief of research, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, and associate professor of psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada, told Medscape Medical News.