Many of us take medicines for common things like colds, allergies, and high blood pressure.
But did you know that some of these might hurt our memory?
A new study has shown just that.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego did some research. They wanted to see if certain drugs changed how our brains work, especially our memory. These medicines are called anticholinergic drugs.
these drugs help with many things. They can lower high blood pressure. They can stop allergies and colds. Some of these medicines are sold in stores. Others need a doctor to say it’s okay to use them.
The scientists looked at 688 older people. These people were about 74 years old on average. They didn’t have problems with their memory at the start.
The scientists asked these people about the medicines they took. They wanted to know if they took any of the drugs we talked about. They also wanted to know how often they took them.
Then they tested these people’s memories. They did this every year for up to 10 years. They wanted to see if the medicine changed how they thought or remembered things.
What did the scientists find out?
The results were surprising. People who took these medicines had more trouble with their memory.
They found it harder than people who didn’t take these drugs. In fact, their chances of having memory problems were almost half more than others.
But that’s not all.
Some people have signs in their bodies that they might get a bad memory disease in the future. It’s called Alzheimer’s disease.
If these people took the medicines, their risk was even bigger. They were four times more likely to have memory problems.
There are also people who have genes from their families that might make them get this disease. If they took the medicines, their chances went up even more. They were more than twice as likely to have memory issues.
Why does this matter?
Memory is an essential part of who we are. We use it to remember faces, names, and even the way back home. If a medicine we take for something simple, like a cold, affects our memory, it’s a big deal.
For older people, it’s even more critical. As we age, our memory naturally gets a bit weaker. But if a medicine makes it worse, it could be dangerous. For example, if someone forgets to turn off the stove or doesn’t remember how to go back home.
If you or someone you know takes these medicines, don’t worry too much yet. But it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor. They can tell you if you should keep taking them or try something else.
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