Common inflammation drugs may impact your memory, increase dementia risk

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A recent study has revealed that taking steroids, even for a short period, can lead to memory issues.

Steroids are medicines used by doctors to reduce inflammation in the body, helping with conditions like asthma, allergies, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Despite their benefits, steroids are known to have side effects, including mood swings, sleep disturbances, and memory problems.

Researchers from the University of Bristol conducted a study to determine if these memory issues were directly caused by the steroids or by the underlying medical conditions for which the steroids were prescribed.

Their research focused on rats, providing a unique insight into the effects of steroids on memory.

The study involved giving the rats a short course of steroids and then assessing their memory and learning abilities. The rats displayed significant difficulties in tasks that required memory and learning.

Further examination revealed that the hippocampus, a critical brain region for memory and learning, was impacted by the steroids.

This discovery is significant as it’s the first time a direct link between steroid use and memory problems has been established.

Previously, it was challenging to ascertain whether memory issues in people taking steroids were due to the steroids or the medical conditions being treated. This study clarifies that steroids can cause memory problems independently of other medical conditions.

An interesting aspect of the research was the timing of steroid administration. The study found that the steroids affected the rats’ brains only when they were active, not during their rest periods.

Additionally, the research indicated that prolonged use of steroids could lead to a reduced effectiveness of the steroids at all times, potentially leading to brain fog.

The findings of this study are hoped to contribute to a better understanding of why steroids can cause memory problems. This could aid doctors in developing new treatments for memory disorders.

Protecting memory function is crucial for overall brain health. Some ways to safeguard memory include:

  1. Regular Exercise: Increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain through exercise can enhance memory.
  2. Adequate Sleep: Sleep is vital for memory consolidation and retention.
  3. Healthy Diet: Consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats supports brain function and memory.
  4. Brain Training: Engaging in activities like puzzles, reading, and learning new skills stimulates the brain and improves memory.
  5. Stress Management: Chronic stress harms the brain and memory, so techniques like mindfulness and yoga are beneficial.
  6. Social Engagement: Active social life and strong connections can boost memory and cognitive function.
  7. Limiting Alcohol and Drug Use: Excessive use can impair memory, so moderation or avoidance is key.

These lifestyle adjustments can significantly impact brain health and overall well-being.

The study, led by Matthew T. Birnie and his team, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It offers valuable insights into the effects of steroids on the brain and opens avenues for further research in this area.

If you care about dementia, please read studies that Scientists find a drug related to Viagra may help treat vascular dementia and findings of link between body inflammation and dementia risk.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about The power of healthy fats for brain health and results showing that the Mediterranean diet may preserve brain volume in older adults.

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