Allergy drugs linked to brain atrophy, study shows

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 11:00 PM

The study, published Monday, links anticholinergic medication to increased risk for cognitive impairment and dementia among older adults. Never heard of that class of drug? Well, as , if you know Benadryl, Demerol, Dimetapp, Dramamine, Paxil and Unisom, you've used it.

Allergy drugs linked to brain atrophy, study shows

It’s the season when allergy meds can be lifesavers, but a might create some think twice before they reach for them.

The study, published Monday, links anticholinergic medication to increased risk for cognitive impairment and dementia among older adults. Never heard of that class of drug? Well, as , if you know Benadryl, Demerol, Dimetapp, Dramamine, Paxil and Unisom, you've used it.

There were four hundred fifty-one participants, with an average age of seventy-three, in the study, and sixty were taking at minimum one anticholinergic drug. Researchers at the IN Univ School of Medicine studied PET scans, MRIs and memory and cognitive tests to evaluate differences in brain function and structure.

The first-of-its-kind research found that utilize of drugs with medium or high anticholinergic action was associated with brain atrophy, poorer memory and clinical decline.

Researchers concluded that “use of AC medication among older adults should likely be discouraged if alternative therapies are available.”

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