Can Hay Fever Affect Your Brain?   

Can Hay Fever Affect Your Brain?

Woman with hand on forehead
Clinical Contributors to this story:
John P. Roche, M.D.

If you sneeze your way through allergy season, here’s some food for thought: In a recent study on mice, scientists found an increase in the number of new neurons formed in the hippocampus during an allergic reaction. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that helps form new memories. 

However, they also discovered that allergies have the opposite effect on the immune cells in the brain, called the microglia. These cells were deactivated during an allergic reaction.

“It will be interesting to see the results of further studies and how allergies may affect memory and aging,” says John Roche, M.D., of Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Medical Center.


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