We evaluated the effect of anticholinergic burden on 219 participants with incident Parkinson's disease (PD) and 99 controls at study baseline and 18 months. Anticholinergic burden for each individual was calculated and summed according to the Anticholinergic Drug Scale (ADS). Medication with anticholinergic activity was more commonly prescribed in PD compared to controls, although mean ADS scores were not significantly different. Cognitive scores did not differ in PD participants taking medications with anticholinergic activity compared to those who were not. Low overall ADS scores due to increased awareness of adverse effects of medications and brevity of follow-up are potential explanations.