This study found that the use of benzodiazepines appears to increase the risk of developing dementia. Common benzodiazepines are alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).
Benzodiazepine use and risk of dementia: prospective population based study | BMJ
COMMENT: short term use appears to be safer; long term use may increase the risk of side-effects. Some medical conditions are best treated by benzodiazepines, and in these situations, early screening and taking measures to prevent dementia may be helpful.