Click here to close now.



Welcome!

News Feed Item

Cancer And Chemotherapy Linked With Decreased Risk Of Alzheimer's Disease In Veterans

 

-- Three other studies reported at AAIC 2013 illuminate Alzheimer's risk factors, point to potential new strategies for treatment, prevention

BOSTON, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Most kinds of cancer are associated with a significantly decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study of 3.5 million veterans reported today at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference® 2013 (AAIC® 2013) in Boston. In addition, the study suggested that chemotherapy treatment for almost all of those cancers conferred an additional decrease in Alzheimer's risk.

Three other researchers presented results of epidemiologic studies that uncovered risk factors and/or possible therapies for Alzheimer's disease. The results indicated that:

  • Metformin, a medication for type 2 diabetes, may be linked with lower Alzheimer's risk among type 2 diabetes patients compared with other therapies.
  • Older age at retirement appears to be associated with reduced Alzheimer's risk.
  • Socioeconomic disparities may account for the previously observed increased risk of Alzheimer's among African Americans.

"With these large-cohort studies and others, we are beginning to see the outlines of a broad picture of Alzheimer's disease risk and prevention factors," said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association.

"However, we need to know even more about what specific factors actually raise and lower risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's. To do that, we need longer-term studies in larger and more diverse populations, and more research funding is required to make that happen. Alzheimer's research would benefit from its own version of the Framingham Study, which has taught us so very much about preventable risk factors for heart disease and stroke," Carrillo said.

"With funding of research being a critical need for progress, the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease must be fully implemented and the $100 million identified for Alzheimer's and dementia research this fiscal year needs to be funded," Carrillo concluded.

Cancer history and chemotherapy are associated with decreased risk of Alzheimer's

A growing body of evidence suggests a possible association of cancer with reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease; until now, whether the association differs between cancer types or is modified by cancer treatment is unknown.

Laura Frain, M.D., a geriatrician at VA Boston Healthcare System, and colleagues analyzed the health records of 3,499,378 veterans age 65 and older who were seen in the VA health care system between 1996 and 2011 and who were free of dementia at baseline. The objective was to evaluate the relationship between a history of 19 different cancers, cancer treatment and subsequent Alzheimer's disease.

Over a median follow-up of 5.65 years, 82,028 veterans were diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Twenty-four (24) percent of those veterans with Alzheimer's had a history of cancer, while 76 percent did not.

The researchers found that most types of cancer were associated with reduced Alzheimer's risk, ranging from 9 percent to 51 percent. Reduced risk was greatest among survivors of liver cancer (51 percent lower risk), cancer of the pancreas (44 percent), cancer of the esophagus (33 percent), myeloma (26 percent), lung cancer (25 percent) and leukemia (23 percent). Cancers that did not confer a reduced Alzheimer's risk, or were associated with an increased risk, included melanoma, prostate and colorectal cancers.

The researchers found no association between cancer history and reduced risk of any other typical age-related health outcome; in fact, cancer was associated with an increased risk of stroke, osteoarthritis, cataracts and macular degeneration. Most cancer survivors were also at increased risk for non-Alzheimer's dementia.

"Together, these findings indicate that the protective relationship between most cancers and Alzheimer's disease is not simply explained by increased mortality among cancer patients," said Frain. "More research is needed to determine if these results have therapeutic implications for Alzheimer's."

Among veterans with a cancer history, treatment with chemotherapy but not radiation reduced Alzheimer's risk by 20 to 45 percent, depending on cancer type, with the exception of prostate cancer.

"The potential protective effect of chemotherapy is supported by recent experimental studies," Frain observed. "The results of this study are interesting because they could help focus future research onto the specific pathways and treatment agents involved in the individual cancers that are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's. This could potentially open new therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's prevention and treatment."

Metformin is linked with lower dementia risk than other type 2 diabetes therapies

Type 2 diabetes doubles the risk of dementia. However, until recently, little research has been done to examine the association between type 2 diabetes treatments and dementia risk. Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D., and colleagues at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research studied a cohort of 14,891 type 2 diabetes patients age 55 and older who began diabetes therapy between October 1999 and November 2001. Only patients who started a single therapy (metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones (TZDs) or insulin) were included. The patients were followed for up to five years.

Patients initiating metformin, an insulin sensitizer, had a significantly reduced risk of developing dementia compared with patients on other diabetes therapies. Compared with those taking sulfonylureas, those initiating metformin had a 20 percent reduced risk of dementia, while those initiating TZD or insulin had no difference in risk.

"These results provide preliminary evidence that the benefits of insulin sensitizers may extend beyond glycemic control to neurocognitive health," said Whitmer. "Research in animals suggests that metformin may contribute to the creation of new brain cells and enhance spatial memory."

Trials are currently under way to evaluate metformin as a potential therapy for dementia and mild cognitive impairment, which is thought to be, in some cases, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease.

Older age at retirement is associated with reduced risk of dementia

Some research has suggested that intellectual stimulation and mental engagement throughout life may be protective against Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In an analysis of health and insurance records of more than 429,000 self-employed workers in France, reported at AAIC 2013, Carole Dufouil, Ph.D., director of research in neuroepidemiology at INSERM (Institut National de la sante et de la recherche medicale) at the Bordeaux School of Public Health, and colleagues found that retirement at older age is associated with a reduced risk of dementia.

The researchers linked health and pension databases of self-employed workers who were living and retired as of December 31, 2010. Workers had been retired on average for more than 12 years. Prevalence of dementia in this group was 2.65 percent.

Analyses showed that the risk of being diagnosed with dementia was lower for each year of working longer (i.e., higher age at retirement) (hazard ratio of dementia was 0.968 (95 percent Confidence Interval = [0.962-0.973]). Even after excluding workers who had dementia diagnosed within the 5 years following retirement, the results remained unchanged and highly significant (p<0.0001).

"Our data show strong evidence of a significant decrease in the risk of developing dementia associated with older age at retirement, in line with the 'use it or lose it' hypothesis," said Dufouil. "The patterns were even stronger when we focused on more recent birth cohorts."

"Professional activity may be an important determinant of intellectual stimulation and mental engagement, which are thought to be potentially protective against dementia," observed Dufouil. "As countries around the world respond to the aging of their populations, our results highlight the importance of maintaining high levels of cognitive and social stimulation throughout work and retired life, and they emphasize the need for policies to help older individuals achieve cognitive and social engagement.

The study was also coordinated by the International Longevity Center-France (Head: Prof. Francoise Forette).

Socioeconomic disparities may explain higher Alzheimer's risk among African Americans

Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have been shown to be higher among older blacks in the United States than older whites; however, risk factors that might account for this difference have not been extensively studied.

Note: According to the Alzheimer's Association 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's and other dementias as older whites, and Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer's and other dementias as older whites.

Kristine Yaffe, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and colleagues sought to determine if differences in dementia rates by race existed among a cohort of community dwelling elders and whether any differences observed could be explained by socioeconomic status (SES) indicators (income, financial adequacy, education and literacy) and health-related factors.

The scientists evaluated dementia risk among 3,075 black and white elders (mean age 74.1 years) participating in the ongoing prospective Health, Aging and Body Composition Study who were free of dementia at baseline.

During 12 years of follow-up, 18.7 percent of participants were determined to have developed dementia, based on prescribed medications, hospital records and cognitive decline. In this population, African-Americans were 1.5 times more likely to develop dementia than whites (21.9 percent vs. 16.4 percent). However, after adjusting for socioeconomic factors including education level, literacy, income and financial adequacy, the researchers found that the difference in risk was no longer statistically significant.

"Our findings suggest that differences in socioeconomic factors may, in large part, explain racial and ethnic disparities in dementia rates," said Yaffe. "Future studies that investigate these disparities should take a broad range of socioeconomic factors into account."

Yaffe suggested that more studies are needed "to explore the potential benefits of improving socioeconomic risk factors as a way of reducing dementia rates."

(Disclosure: Dr. Yaffe is co-chair of the AAIC 2013 Program Committee.)

About AAIC
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world's largest conference of its kind, bringing together researchers from around the world to report and discuss groundbreaking research and information on the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.  As a part of the Alzheimer's Association's research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.

About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

 

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cro...
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principal...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...