Study: Tylenol Affects Brain and Clouds JudgmentPhysical pain and the distress that comes with social rejection have been traced to the same area of the brain. This intriguing connection may shed some light on how acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) may also affect the brain. Accumulating research suggests that, along with inhibiting physical pain, acetaminophen may also act on emotions and have other neurological effects. One of the latest studies, conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, suggests the popular painkiller may even inhibit the brain response associated with making errors. Acetaminophen's brain effects are only beginning to be understood, but this medication's risks to other areas of your body are well known.
Study: Tylenol Affects Brain and Clouds Judgment
If Tylenol affects the brain and clouds judgement in adults, what might it do to a developing brain? The preliminary findings on this important question, about the most used medication during pregnancy and infancy, are concerning. Recently published studies suggest that the use of Tylenol during pregnancy or early life may increase a child’s risk of ADHD and possibly autism. These studies include a Danish study of over 64,000 mother-child pairs followed on average 12.7 years which suggests that prenatal Tylenol increases the risk of autism with hyperactivity. A large Norwegian birth cohort study found that children exposed to long-term use of Tylenol during pregnancy had substantially adverse developmental outcomes (autism-like) at 3 years of age. Two other human population studies suggest increased risk of ADHD. A mouse model study supports the findings of these human studies, finding that Tylenol given during early life brain development affected later cognitive function. Another study looked at the effects on rat brains of mixtures of 13 suspected hormone disrupting chemicals, including Tylenol, during a critical time of brain development. This study found changes related to autism in the brain and suggested that Tylenol “may have exerted an important influence” over the entire mixture of chemicals. An additionally disconcerting recent finding suggests that Tylenol may be toxic at much lower doses than previously known, interfering with cellular respiration at therapeutic doses.