Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Class of Common Drugs May Cause Dementia

Dementia is a word that sends shivers down older folk’s spines. It’s something we all want to avoid as we get older. Well, there’s a long list of Over The Counter Drugs that many people take that can have a devastating effect on memory. These drugs include popular products that are taken for allergies, colds, flu, motion sickness and insomnia and some of the brand name products include Benadryl, Sominex. Allermax, and PM (nighttime) version of Excedrin, Advil Tylenol and Aleve.

So, what do all these drugs have in common that they can cause memory loss in older people? All these drugs affect a neurotransmitter in the brain called Acetylcholine which is produced in nerve cells throughout the body and brain. Acetylcholine does such things as regulating heartbeat, blood pressure and blood flow. In the brain, it’s involved with memory, learning and alertness.

All the drugs I listed above are know as anticholinergics and they are meant to control cardiac arrhythmias, open airways and sinuses among many other applications by reducing acetylcholine production in the body.

The problem with these drugs is the side effects. In a study by British researchers, they compared these medications in 58,769 patients with dementia with a control group of 225,574 people who had normal cognitive function. They found that if a person has had more than 1,095 doses of these drugs within a 10-year period that their likelihood of getting dementia increased by 50 percent. A person could reach this level if they were taking the minimum effective dose of one of these anticholinergic drugs daily for three years!

So…if you are taking the drugs in the list above, you might want to reduce what you’re taking and explore alternative therapies from acupuncture, meditation, essential oils, nutritional therapies, massage and other healing modalities to help you, at a minimum, to control your level of pain while reducing the possibility of your getting dementia.
(Reported Health and Healing, Vol 29, No. 10)

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