Medication Effects on Cognition

  • Jeffrey A. Sordahl
  • Jessica Litke
  • Jennifer Lewis
  • Megan Dunay


Assessment of cognitive functioning is an ever-growing field of medicine and pertinent with an aging population. Screening for impairment is often focused on brief performance measures of attention and memory with organic disorders foremost among possible causative diagnoses. However, assessing for nonorganic factors that may contribute to cognitive dysfunction such as poor sleep, mood disorders, and medications is essential in ruling out potentially reversible causes of impairment. This chapter will focus on medications and their impact on cognition. While there are many classes of medications reported to impact cognitive functioning, this chapter will review four common medication types regularly prescribed in a primary care setting (e.g., psychotropic medications, sleep medications, anticholinergics, and pain medications), as well as address issues of polypharmacy.


Cognition Medications Side effects Iatrogenic Cognitive screening Anticholinergic Hypnotics Sleep medications Pain medications Psychotropics Polypharmacy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey A. Sordahl
    • 1
  • Jessica Litke
    • 1
  • Jennifer Lewis
    • 2
  • Megan Dunay
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Boise VA Medical Center – V-IMPACT TeleHubBoiseUSA
  2. 2.Family Medicine Residency of Idaho, Geriatric MedicineBoiseUSA
  3. 3.Boise VA Medical Center, Medical Service, Geriatrics and Palliative Care DivisionBoiseUSA
  4. 4.University of Washington Internal Medicine ResidencySeattleUSA

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