Some cold and allergy meds can lead to Alzheimer's

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(Source: Ano Lobb / Flickr / CC BY 2.0) (Source: Ano Lobb / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A new study finds that some of the common cold and allergy medicines people take can cause shrinking in the brain and could lead to Alzheimer’s.

From allergies to insomnia, there’s a pill for just about every problem.

You may not know the medical term for this class of drugs but you have definitely heard of them: Benadryl, Demerol, Dimetapp, Dramamine, Paxil, and Unisom.

Doctors have known about these drugs for some time and this study reinforces it.

The study shows that drugs strong in anticholinergic effects can shrink the brain and decrease the brain metabolism. 

These bad metabolic changes over time affect our memory. Researchers in 2013 found a link between these drugs and cognitive impairment among older adults and now are encouraging older adults not to take these types of medications.

“Medications that are fine are Claritin, Zertec and Allegra are fine, but things like Wal-dryl, Benadryl, Advil PM, Tylenol PM, anything PM make people worse," Dr. Marwin Sabbagh,  Neurologist Director of Alzheimer’s and Memory Division at Barrow Neurological Institute, said. "If you're a young person, I'd worry about it less than if you're older. This is a real issue for the elderly population. The elderly are going to be susceptible.”

If you have questions about the medications you are taking, consult with your doctor. For a full list of medications in this study, click here.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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