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Over-the-counter (OTC) medicine is a common part our lives. Many us pop the local pharmacy cold and headache tablets, cough syrups or allergy treatments. Over-the-counter drugs save the need to go the doctor's. However, we may be causing ourselves more harm than good these convenient cures. A new study published the journal JAMA Neurology suggests that many these handy medicines have unwanted, and sometimes serious, side effects. Researchers say that such side effects older adults who often take widely available OTC medicines asthma, aches and pains, insomnia and allergies, etc. include cognitive impairment, dementia and even brain shrinkage.

The study was conducted the Indiana University School Medicine. Researchers examined the link OTC medications and cognition "cognitively normal" older people who did not have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The scientists found that OTC drugs led a lower glucose metabolism, which is crucial the brain to be healthy and function properly. Dr. Shannon Risacher said: "These findings provide us a much better understanding how this class of drugs may act the brain in ways that might raise the risk cognitive impairment and dementia." She added: "I certainly wouldn't advise my grandparents or even my parents to take these medications unless they have to."

 
 

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