Allergy medications may cause brain damage, increase dementia risk because of course they can, everything can
If you've ever popped a Benadryl or two to sleep through a long flight (or even just a regular night), you can pretty much count yourself among the majority of the population.
But a new study has revealed that taking these pills to tame your allergy symptoms or to catch some Z's may not be as harmless as you once thought it was, which shouldn't even come as a surprise at this point because apparently, NOTHING IS.
Building on past research, a study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine suggests anticholinergic drugs of both the over-the-counter and prescription varieties are linked to cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia.
If that sounds like something you've never taken before, keep in mind we're talking about Dimetapp, Unisom and the crowd-favorite Benadryl — you probably have at least one of those in your medicine cabinet right now.
A link between these types of drugs and cognitive impairment isn't a totally new discovery, but for the first time, researchers used brain imaging techniques to determine the physical changes associated with these drugs.
More than 400 participants, with an average age of 73, were given memory and cognitive tests, PET scans and MRI scans.
Participants who were taking anticholinergic drugs didn't do as well on memory tests and had lower levels of brain activity than those who weren't.
"Given all the research evidence, physicians might want to consider alternatives to anticholinergic medications, if available, when working with older patients," a researcher told CNN.
So think twice the next time you feel you desperately need that sleep aid, maybe reach for a cup of tea instead.
The you of tomorrow will be thankful.