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Men on Androgen Deprivation Therapy May Be at Higher Risk for Alzheimer’s

Jan 18, 2016

In this study, the researchers analyzed medical records from 16,888 men with prostate cancer. Fourteen percent of the men had had ADT. The researchers followed the patients’ progress for a median of 2.7 years.

They discovered that men on ADT were about 88% more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease during the follow-up period compared to those who did not have ADT.

Also, the longer men were on ADT, the greater their chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Men who underwent ADT long-term were at more than twice the risk.

Why were men on ADT more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease? The scientists weren’t completely sure, but past studies have found that low testosterone leaves brain cells more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s and may contribute to the production of the protein amyloid beta, a hallmark in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Clumps of amyloid beta can cause plaques in the brain, making it more difficult for brain cells to “talk” to each other.

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