Prostate Cancer Treatment May Double Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Prostate Cancer Treatment May Double Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
A large-scale analysis of medical records revealed that men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer treatment may be at almost twice the risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s disease, and that the increased likelihood of the disease is proportional to ADT duration. The research paper, entitled “Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Future Alzheimer’s Disease Risk,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Previous research has suggested that low levels of testosterone, a direct consequence of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), may leave the brain more vulnerable to the pathogenic neurodegeneration that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Likewise, men with Alzheimer’s disease have been found to present lower testosterone levels when compared to healthy counterparts. This effect, not yet fully understood, has been linked to testosterone's perceived protective effect on brain cells and to evidence suggesting that the production of amyloid beta, a protein involved in Alzheimer's pathogenesis, increases as testosterone levels diminish. To further investigate the benefits and risks of ADT and, for the first time, its possible association with Alzheimer’s risk, researchers initiated a retrospective study of electronic medical data of patients from hospitals at Stanford University and Mt. Sinai, New York, covering about 5 million individuals, of which 16,888 had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and met all inclusion and exclusion criteria. Among this group, 2,397 patients had received ADT. Using different statistical analyses and comparing the ADT-treated group with a similar group of
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