PPI use not linked to cognitive function

A study conducted over a 14-year period found no convincing association between proton-pump inhibitor use and cognition.

Elderly patient holding medicines

Past research has linked the use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) to the risk of dementia. However, there is a lack of data on long-term PPI use and cognitive function.

In a study in Gastroenterology (online, 18 July 2017), researchers analysed data from the Nurses’ Health Study II on 13,864 women (mean age 61 years) whose PPI and H2-receptor antagonist use was recorded over a 14-year period[1]

Results from computerised neuropsychological tests showed a modest association between psychomotor speed and attention in women who had taken PPIs for 9–14 years, which was attenuated when H2-blocker use was controlled for. Otherwise, they found no convincing association between PPI use and cognition.

The researchers say the results do not support the hypothesised link between PPIs and dementia in middle-aged and older women, and suggest that older patients who have frequent contact with healthcare professionals are both more likely to be prescribed PPIs and diagnosed with dementia.


[1] Lochhead P, Hagan K, Joshi A et al. Association between proton pump inhibitor use and cognitive function in women. Gastro 2017. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.06.061

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PPI use not linked to cognitive function;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203335

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