Common drugs may lead to dementia

It’s the biggest mistake you can make in your local pharmacy – and countless elderly patients make it every single day.

I’m talking about walking through those aisles of cough, cold, and allergy medicines – and assuming that if they’re sold without a prescription, they can’t be that dangerous.

Now another study has proven that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Because some of the most popular over-the-counter drugs around – including some allergy drugs that are being sold like hot cakes this time of year – could literally be rotting your brain.

And it looks like they may even put you on the fast track to dementia and even Alzheimer’s.

In a recent study published in JAMA Neurology, researchers looked at brain scans of elderly patients.

It turns out that the folks who’d been taking a class of drugs called “anticholinergics” (I’ll give you a list in a minute) for at least a month actually had SMALLER BRAINS.

It was as if their brains – especially the parts important to decision-making – were wasting away on the drugs.

Worse still, the areas of their brains that are associated with memory – the SAME EXACT regions that are affected in Alzheimer’s patients – showed drastically lower glucose levels.

That’s a big problem, because your brain NEEDS metabolized glucose in order to be active!

Brain scans are one thing, but the real proof was in the proverbial pudding: The participants with shrunken, glucose-deficient brains also scored much lower when their immediate memory and executive function were tested.

Because they’re not always labeled as such, you could be taking an anticholinergic drug right now… or even more than one… without ever knowing it.

Some prescription drugs are considered anticholinergics, like Demerol (pain), Paxil (depression), or even the bladder medication Solifenacin.

But there are plenty of over-the-counter drugs that are anticholinergics, too, including:

• allergy relief (Benadryl)
• cold medicine (Dimetapp)
• sleep aids (Unisom, Tylenol PM)
• motion sickness (Dramamine)

These are drugs that all elderly patients need to stay away from.

Especially for problems like seasonal allergies, there are lots of natural treatment options available, like goldenseal, butterbur, and even acupuncture.

And if you have trouble getting rest at night, a natural hormone called melatonin can actually help regulate your sleep cycle over the long-term, rather than just knocking you out with each dose.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
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