A study has linked certain medications, such as over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids as well as medications for allergies, depression, pain, nausea, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and incontinence, with having anticholinergic effects that can cause cognitive impairment and possibly early death in older adults.
Anticholinergics affect the brain by blocking acetylcholine (ACh), a nervous system neurotransmitter. ACh plays a major role in creating memory and the speed of reaction and communication in the brain. Therefore, taking drugs with anticholinergic effects can cause cognitive impairment such as difficulty remembering recent events, executing complicated tasks, or communicating.
A two-year study on the impact of these medications involving 13,000 men and women aged 65 and older was part of the Medical Research Council’s Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies, Continue reading