Allergy sufferers know seasonal allergies can be a nuisance at all times of day and night. In addition to making life tough temporarily, researchers are suggesting that seasonal allergies may also have long-term effects, particularly when it comes to the brain and memory.
According to a study published in the Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience journal, seasonal allergies were found to change the brains of mice. Although these changes are still being evaluated, they are raising new questions about the impact of allergies on the human mind.
Some key findings from the study:
- For the study, researchers divided mice into two groups and exposed each group to an allergen.
- Researchers found that when mice were exposed to grass pollen, their brains produced more neurons in the hippocampus, the section of the brain that form memories.
- The group of mice exposed to grass pollen allergens also had a deactivation of microglia, or immune cells of the brain.
- Researchers are still evaluating the results, but have suggested that seasonal allergies can potentially impact long-term learning and memory. For example, prior studies found learning and memory impairments in animals exposed to long-term allergens.
While researchers continue to explore the link between allergies and memory, allergy sufferers must still struggle with seasonal symptoms. If you or someone you love suffers from seasonal allergies, be aware that fall and changing vegetation can spark symptoms. This is often due to hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, caused by ragweed and other seasonal weeds.
At the Center for Allergy & Asthma of Georgia, our specialists have decades of combined experience treating patients of all ages who suffer from seasonal allergies. Whether you want to help your child overcome symptoms during their return to school or wish to find lasting relief yourself, contact us today to schedule an appointment!