Can paracetamol help to reduce stress?

Stress could be reduced by taking paracetamol, with a new clinical trial being launched in order to investigate the claim further. The pain-relieving medication is also thought to activate the hippocampus area of the brain, which is involved in learning, memory and problem-solving.

According to a report by the Daily Mail, scientists at the University Hospital Clermont-Ferrand, France, are to place 44 healthy men and women on the drug to measure its effects. A placebo group will also be used by the researchers.

Dr Anne Corbett, Research Manager at charity the Alzheimer's Society, said: "The problems caused by dementia can mean much more than simply misplacing keys or forgetting a phone number.

"It can mean not being able to recognise family or where you live."

Dr Hugh Koch, Clinical Psychologist, commented: "This study will provide further evidence of potential links between commonly taken legal medication and stress.

"However, hopefully due consideration will be given to different types of stress and also the advantages and disadvantages of resorting to taking medication when dealing with stress, normal or abnormal."

Investigators from the University of California, Los Angeles, recently found that those people who have a history of depression are more likely to return to that state if they are stressed than those with no prior mental health issues.