by: Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) A class of drugs that includes dozens of common over-the-counter and prescription medications, has been linked to an increased risk of the development ofdementia .
Based on the results of two recent studies exploring anticholinergic drugs and their effects on the brain, seniors are now being advised to avoid taking medications such as NyQuil, Claritin and Actifed – to name just a few – “if alternative therapies are available.”
The first study, published in 2015, found that the use of anticholinergic drugs increased the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by more than 60 percent, but their exact effects remained unclear.
Anticholinergics shrink the brain
A new study conducted by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine, has shed more light on the way anticholinergics damage the brain.
From the UK’s Telegraph:
“The cognitive tests revealed that the 60 patients who were taking anticholinergic drugs performed worse than older adults not taking the drugs on short-term memory and some tests of executive function, which cover a range of activities such as verbal reasoning, planning, and problem solving. They also were diagnosed with cognitive impairment – a prelude to dementia – earlier.
“Anticholinergic drug users also showed lower levels of glucose metabolism – a sign of brain activity – in both the overall brain and in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory and which has been identified as affected early by Alzheimer’s disease.
“The brains of the those taking anticholinergics were, on average, four per cent smaller, while the cavities inside the brain were 12 per cent larger.”