Headaches and Alzheimers
I spent the last weekend in a MedHerb seminar learning about the practical use of herbs in a modern society. It was almost more information than one can process in a short two days. I’m grateful for notes and the beautiful workbooks. Kerry Bones mentioned the use of acetaminophen was linked to Alzheimer’s and as I’m sitting here with a headache, decided that I wanted to know more.
Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and a slew of other brands of pain relievers. Many people think it’s a safe product but after doing some research, it’s not.
My first thought when this idea was brought to my attention is that it couldn’t be possible. The first cases of Alzheimer’s was reported in the early 1900’s and Tylenol wasn’t around then. After a bit of research I learned that Phenacetin, the earlier form of acetaminophen, was released in 1887. This is a form of acetaminophen that was pulled from the market because it wasn’t safe. It was linked to things like kidney failure and cancer.
The first evidence appeared in Lancet, a renowned medical journal, in 1971. Doctors performed autopsies on people who had died of kidney disease related to use of pain killers. Brain plaques were found in six of them that had uses phenacetin, an earlier, more toxic form of acetaminophen.
I can’t say for sure that acetaminophen actually causes Alzheimer’s, but it seems very suspect. Acetaminophen is linked to brain plaques. Scientists are not sure what causes cell death and tissue loss in the Alzheimer’s brain, but plaques and tangles are prime suspects…… Come to your own conclusion.
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