Some Hay Fever Drugs May Increase Risk Of Dementia In The Elderly

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As anyone that suffers from it will know, hay fever is nothing short of profoundly irritating. Fortunately, there are a range of prescription and over-the-counter narcotics you can take to redres their own problems, but as a new study demonstrates, some of them may be causing some particularly unfortunate neurological side effects.

As revealed in the periodical JAMA Neurology, a class of drugs known as anticholinergic medication which includes therapies for hay fever, colds, and high blood pressure are linked to shrinkage of the brains of those around retirement age. Although a direct causal link cannot yet be demonstrated, there is some proof is recommended that these narcotics may increase an elderly persons opportunity of getting dementia as they age.

These findings provide us with a much better understanding of how this class of drugs may act upon the brain in ways that might raise the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, told Shannon Risacher, deputy professor of radiology and imaging sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine, in a statement.

In 2015, a study began to build frightening headlines that anticholinergic medications creates the risk of dementia. These narcotics are easily obtainable and commonly consumed.

Published in the periodical JAMA Internal Medicine, it revealed circumstantial evidence thatsuggested those over the age of 65, if taking a high dosage( one pill a day, every day) for at least three years, have a 54 percent higher danger of developing dementia; 80 percent of these subjects had Alzheimers disease.

This new study was designed to find out why this may occur. The researchers find 451 participants at pensioner age, 60 of whom were taking medication with moderate-to-high anticholinergic activity potency, for almost a decade. At set intervals throughout observation, they were all dedicated cognitive reasoning tests to assess their mental acuity, along with MRI brain scans.

The precise underlying neurological mechanism for these changes has not yet been procured. Juan Gaertner/ Shutterstock

Those on higher doses not only proved increasingly impaired mental acuity over day, but their brains proved overall shrinkage. In addition, their brains featured lower levels of glucose metabolism a proxy for brain activity throughout, but particularly in the hippocampus, the region associated with memory formation.

These narcotics, a listing of which can be found here, are known to block acetylcholine, an important nervous system chemical used by neurons to communicate with each other. It may be that this consequence is unknowingly having these other find consequences, although this study cannot directly prove this once again, its a circumstantial link.

As with both studies, these connections were not investigated for those working under 65. As always, if youre thinking of changing medication based on this study, consider a healthcare professional first.Suddenly stopping medication for hay fever is a possibility vex, but doing the same for high blood pressure tablets may demonstrate dangerous.

Given all the research evidence, physicians might want to consider alternatives to anticholinergic medications if available when working with their older patients, Risacher added.

Its also worth stressing that an increased risk of getting dementia by 54 percent is not the same as having a 54 percent opportunity of developing dementia. If you are in the U.K ., for example, you have about a 7 percent opportunity of developing dementia if you are 65, which is quite low. This percentage scarcely changes when the increased risk gained by take such narcotics into account.

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