As people grow older, there is often more on their minds than when they are younger. This elevated brain activity can make it harder to turn off the thoughts in the evening, and subsequently they lie awake at night with their minds racing. This insomnia is well documented, and is not your typical sleep disorder. Because it is not the same as other sleep problems, typical sleeping pills are not used to combat it.
Instead of treating this senior insomnia with a sleeping pill, many doctors turn to anti-anxiety pills. These drugs help to calm the mind, and allow the user to drift off to sleep more naturally than using a different medication. However, they still carry risk.
The Risks of Anxiety Drugs
Anxiety drugs help relieve tension and relax the mind. But in helping an individual to relax they can cause temporary fuzziness or memory loss. Those who use these drugs report that in the morning they feel as though they have a hangover; as though the events of the night before are hazy and hard to recall. For a long time doctors thought that this inability to recall moments was a temporary side effect and the body would recover just like it recovers from an excess of alcohol.
Recent studies, however, have led them to a new conclusion. This temporary dementia may be leading to more serious dementia down the road. In fact, the studies show that those who have used anxiety drugs to help treat insomnia are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. The problem, it turns out, that the misfiring neurons that cause the lost memories never fully heal. As the problem compounds, dementia sets in.
The companies that make anti-anxiety drugs, like Valium, Ativan, and other Benzodiazepine drugs , never fully warned the public of this danger. As a result millions of people are put at risk without their consent. If you have been diagnosed with the early stages of dementia, and you have used anxiety drugs, you may be able to file an anxiety drug lawsuit. Contact a personal injury attorney today to learn more.