Common medications linked to reduced brain size - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Common medications linked to reduced brain size

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)
(WTOL) -

The medicine you may be giving to your family could be damaging their brain. 

A new study published in JAMA Neurology links anticholinergic drugs to an increased risk of dementia, reduced brain volume and more cavities in the brain.  

While the anticholinergic class of drugs may sound unfamiliar, you have likely taken or heard of the medications. They include Benadryl, Demerol, Dimetapp, Dramamine, Paxil, Unison and VESIcare in addition to other allergy, sleep aids and medications that treat chronic diseases. 

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine studied more than 400 elderly patients. Test results showed that people taking anticholinergic drugs had a hard time planning, problem solving and performed poorly on tests of their short term memory. 

This study builds on research from 2013 where the scientists at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research concluded patients taking anticholinergic drugs repeatedly for just 60 days showed changes in their mental abilities. 

Make sure to talk with your doctor before changing the medications you take. 

Find a list of anticholinergic medications here.  

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