Common Prostate Cancer Treatment May Increase Alzheimer's Risk

First Posted: Dec 08, 2015 07:02 PM EST

Prostate cancer patients on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), a treatment that reduces levels of male hormones, may be at a greater risk of developing dementia, according to a recent study.

From a sample of about 17,000 patients with prostate cancer--2,300 of whom had received ATD--researchers found that just about 1 percent (125 patients) had Alzheimer's disease. Those who had undergone ADT were at an 88 percent increased risk of dementia and men treated for over 12 months had more than double the risk of dementia when compared to those who had not received the treatment.

"The association found in this study should be evaluated in the context of the overall treatment choices available to any specific patient," said researcher Nigam Shah of Stanford.

As hormone therapy is typically only for patients with more advanced prostate cancer cases, researchers say it's unclear at this time whether the Alzheimer's risk of connected with the treatment or the severity of the illness.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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