Every time you go to take a new medicine, you should always consider the pros and cons. But now we must also ask ourselves... "Is this drug linked to dementia and memory loss?" Since recent studies are finding chilling connections between anticholinergics and some damaging brain effects.
These types of drugs include some common medications to treat allergies and dizziness, and to aid sleep, such as diphenhydramine. Of course, the most logical thing would be to think that medications for allergies and insomnia should be safe to use. But this is not always the case.
The JAMA Neurology study is important as researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine used brain scans to determine how anticholinergics impact the brain.
This is not the first time researchers have found a connection between anticholinergic drugs and cognitive decline. Scientists at the University of Washington also found that chronic use of certain sleep anticholinergics and hay fever medications increased the risk of dementia and memory loss.
The study found this connection only in people who took these drugs for 3 or more years. (More research is needed to find out whether continuous or intermittent use during that period of time leads to an increased risk of memory loss.)
9 medications that cause memory loss
It's a little scary to think that taking medications that are supposed to contribute to our well-being can cause memory loss. Here is a list of drugs with anticholinergic effects that you should take care of if you want to preserve the health of your brain:
1. Medications for incontinence
Common drugs of this type: darifenacin, oxybutynin, tolterodine, flavoxate.
· Pelvic floor muscle exercises, such as Kegel exercises, help strengthen the muscles around the urethra and are an easy way to help fight urinary incontinence naturally. When you repeatedly squeeze and loosen your pelvic floor muscles, you help improve their strength, coordination, and endurance.
· Bladder training is another natural and free way to control incontinence. The goal of bladder training is to regain control of your potty habits. While you may need to rush to the bathroom at first, try waiting ten minutes. Once you feel more comfortable with this, add another ten minutes. Continue this practice until you have reached the right time between bathroom visits. Ask your doctor to help you set clear goals through this process and keep a journal to help you and your doctor keep track of progress.
· Research suggests that foods rich in vitamin C and foods that contain beta-cryptoxanthin can help promote urinary system health. These foods include kiwi, guava, papaya, pineapple, mango, pumpkin, carrots, sweet peppers, green bell peppers, broccoli, kale, parsley, and more.
2. Muscle relaxants
Common drugs of this type: cyclobenzaprine, dicyclomine, orphenadrine.
· A study investigated the effects massage therapy had on muscle pain and relaxation. The researchers found that massage therapy improved the management of bone and muscle pain in patients, demonstrating the relaxing effects of massage.
· Magnesium acts as a natural calcium blocker to regulate muscle contractions and help muscles relax. If you have a magnesium deficiency, your muscles can contract too much and cause cramps or spasms.
3. Narcotic pain relievers
Common drugs of this type: meperidine
Natural pain relievers exist in several different forms. Depending on the cause and the type of pain you are experiencing, various remedies may be appropriate to treat it. The best natural options for pain relief include:
· Dry needling
· Cryotherapy (for muscle aches)
· Chiropractic care
· Peppermint or lavender essential oils (for headaches and sore muscles)
· Graston Technique
· Epsom salt
4. Anti-seizure drugs
Common drugs of this type: carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine.
· Try to reduce common seizure triggers, including physical and emotional stress, fatigue and poor sleep, drug or alcohol use, excessive light stimulation, noise, etc. and hormonal changes.
· While the ketogenic diet really gained popularity, it has been used by doctors to help control seizures.
5. Parkinson's medication
Common drugs of this type: benztropine, procyclidine, trih