Cognitive changes in women starting anticholinergic medications for overactive bladder: a prospective study

Shilpa Iyer, Svjetlana Lozo, Carolyn Botros, Chi Wang, Alexandra Warren, Peter Sand, Janet Tomezsko, Sylvia Botros, Adam Gafni-Kane, Karen Sasso, Roger P. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: To assess cognitive changes in women 12 months after starting anticholinergic medications for overactive bladder syndrome (OAB). Methods: We present a prospective cohort study assessing changes in cognition in women seen in a referral urogynecology practice. We compared women who started anticholinergic OAB medications with women not on anticholinergic OAB medications. The primary outcome was change over time on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) screening score. At enrollment, women completed a baseline MOCA screening, a Geriatric Depression Screen (GDS), and an assessment of medications to create an anticholinergic burden score (ACB). At 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after enrollment women were administered the MOCA, GDS, and a review of their medications and medical problems. Statistical analysis was performed using a linear mixed effects model taking into account correlated error terms given multiple MOCA assessments at various time points per patient. Results: A total of 106 women were enrolled, 60 in the OAB medication group and 46 in the control (non-OAB medication) group. The mean age was 77 years, 93% of women were Caucasian, and 98% completed high school, with no difference between groups. Over time there was no difference in change of MOCA score between the OAB and control groups when controlling for age, GDS score, and ACB score (p = 0.78). This association did not change when women with a neurological diagnosis were excluded (n = 6). On average MOCA scores for the OAB group increased by 0.76 over 12 months and the control group increased 0.39, with no difference between the groups (p = 0.53). Conclusions: We found no changes in MOCA scores between OAB medication and control groups after controlling for age, depression, and polypharmacy after 12 months of follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2653-2660
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Anticholinergic medications
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive changes
  • Dementia
  • Overactive bladder
  • Side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cognitive changes in women starting anticholinergic medications for overactive bladder: a prospective study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this