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Are Your Medications Killing Your Brain? Top 25 Worst Offenders
There are three main groups of prescription medications that can lead to memory loss and other types of cognitive dysfunction.
1. Sleeping Aids
Prescription sleeping pills are absolutely infamous for their ability to affect the memory. The popular sleeping pill Ambien has even picked up the nickname “The amnesia drug” because of this. Those who use Ambien regularly are prone to hallucinations, night terrors, sleep walking, and even sleep driving! Ambien and other sleeping pills have shown that they have the capacity to produce states that are similar to being in a coma or passed-out drunk. Even though you might think you are “sleeping,” your brain is not really getting the recuperative REM sleep that it needs. There are plenty of natural ways to stop insomnia, so don’t rely on pills.
2. The Anti-Drugs
Anything that you are taking that starts with the word “anti,” such as antipsychotics, antihistamines, antibiotics, antidepressants, antispasmodics, and antihypertensives, will have an impact on your acetylcholine level. Acetylcholine takes part in both learning and memory, which is why we are always being encouraged to learn new things as we age — to keep our acetylcholine levels high. Low levels of acetylcholine cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms.
3. Statin Drugs
These types of drugs are meant to lower your cholesterol levels and are, perhaps, some of the most dangerous drugs when it comes to brain health. These affect the memory so much that the FDA requires warning labels that list memory loss as a possible side effect. Although we do want to keep our LDL (bad) cholesterol levels low, statin drugs lower all cholesterol levels. Did you know that a full 25 percent of your brain is made up of cholesterol? And that your brain uses this for learning, quick thinking, and memory? Not all cholesterol is bad, but statin drugs do not take this into account.
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