There is little evidence that older adults prescribed benzodiazepines — drugs commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizures — are at increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study from the USC Schaeffer Center published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Use of medications prescribed for chronic conditions has been hypothesized to influence risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Blood pressure medications like statins and antihypertensives have been associated with lowering dementia risk, while medications with anticholinergic properties that treat allergies, incontinence and depression pose an increased dementia risk.

Benzodiazepines have also been linked to increased dementia risk, but it is unclear whether this class of drugs increases risk or are prescribed for conditions that are also early symptoms of dementia.

To continue reading this story, click here.