Over-the-counter night-time cold medicines can make life bearable when you're battling a virus. And for allergy sufferers, drugs such as Claritin can significantly improve quality of life.
But researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine now suggest you think long and hard before taking many common cold and allergy medications, especially if you're past middle age.
The scientists, whose work has been published in the journal JAMA Neurology, say drugs that have a strong "anticholinergic effect" shrink the brain and decrease brain metabolism. This is not a new finding: earlier research has found a link between anticholinergic drugs and cognitive impairment among older adults. A 2013 study concluded that taking one of these drugs for only two months causes memory problems in older people.