Although the study focused on springtime allergies, there are a number of food allergy sufferers who also use common over the counter allergy meds. A new study says that the side-effects of these medications can be worse than many might expect.
A new study found a link between anticholinergic drugs (Benadryl, Demerol, Dimetapp, etc) and cognitive impairment as well as an increased risk of dementia. The researchers behind the study looked at the physical changes in the brain when these medications are taken and found that they increased brain mass and lowered metabolism, both indicators of impairment and risk factors for dementia.
The study examined 451 people, 60 of which were taking the meds being studied regularly.
The researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine used cognitive tests, PET scans, and MRI scans to monitor brain activity and structure. Those taking the anticholinergic medications performed worse on short-term memory tests, verbal reasoning, planning, and problem solving.
These findings coincided with an earlier study that found that those taking anticholinergic medications for as few as 60 continuous days had impaired brain function.