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Anxiety and sleeping pills 'linked to dementia'

Long-term use of pills for anxiety and sleep problems may be linked to Alzheimer's, research suggests.

A study of older Canadian adults found that past benzodiazepine use for three months or more was linked to an increased risk (up to 51%) of dementia.

NHS guidelines say the drugs should be used for eight to 12 weeks at most.

The French-Canadian team says while the link is not definitive, it is another warning that treatments should not exceed three months.

"Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease," lead researcher, Sophie Billioti de Gage of the University of Bordeaux, France, and colleagues wrote in the BMJ.

More at:BBC News Online