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The effects of anticholinergic drugs on attention span and short-term memory skills in children.

Author(s): Giramonti KM, Kogan BA, Halpern LF

Affiliation(s): Division of Urology, The Urological Institute of Northeastern New York, Albany, New York.

Publication date & source: 2008, Neurourol Urodyn., 27(4):315-8.

AIMS: Studies have shown cognitive problems in adults treated with anticholinergics. It is unclear if children are also susceptible to anticholinergic adverse effects. This study evaluates the effects of long-acting oxybutynin and tolterodine on short-term memory and attention in children with urgency and urge incontinence. METHODS: Children with urgency or urge incontinence were recruited to take part in a prospective, randomized double-blinded placebo controlled trial using long-acting oxybutynin or tolterodine. Patients underwent a baseline test of their memory/recall ability and attention span using a standardized developmental/neuropsychological assessment tool. They were then randomized to either medication or placebo with retesting in 2 weeks, at which time they were crossed. They were retested after the second 2 weeks. RESULTS: Fourteen childrens (9 boys and 5 girls), ranging in age from 5 to 11 (M = 7.7) participated in the study. Attention and Memory scores increased over time in all children, however, the analyses showed no significant negative effects of anticholinergic medications on Attention or Memory. Indeed, though not statistically significant, trends were for improvement in test scores in both areas. CONCLUSIONS: Our results in a double blinded cross-over trial suggest that long-acting oxybutynin and tolterodine do not have a deleterious effect on children's attention and memory. Other cognitive functions may be affected. Neurourol. Urodynam. 27:315-318, 2008. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Page last updated: 2008-06-22

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