Treatment of prostate cancer is associated with increased risk of dementia

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prostate cancer

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a common treatment of prostate cancer. Recently, a growing body of evidence shows that there is a link between use of this treatment and cognitive dysfunction.

However, it is not clear whether ADT has negative effects on brain aging and increases the risk of dementia.

In a recent study published in JAMA Oncology, researchers answer the question. They analyze the medical records of almost 10,000 men who have prostate cancer. The result shows that ADT is associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine conducted the study.

They focused on the association between ADT as a treatment for prostate cancer with the subsequent development of dementia (e.g., senile dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer dementia).

In the study, a text-processing method was used to analyze electronic medical record data from an academic medical center from 1994 to 2013.

Researchers identified 9,272 individuals with prostate cancer who were 18 years or older at diagnosis with data recorded in the electronic health record and follow-up after diagnosis. Among the people, 1,826 (19.7%) received ADT.

Researchers found that there was a statistically significant association between use of ADT and risk of dementia.

The increased risk of developing dementia among people who received ADT was 4.4% at 5 years (3.5% in those who did not receive ADT).

In addition, individuals with at least 12 months of ADT use had the greatest increased risk of dementia.

These result suggest that ADT in the treatment of prostate cancer is associated with an increased risk of dementia. In the future, researchers will collect more data from long-term follow-up studies to clarify the negative effects of ADT on brain aging.

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Citation: Nead KT, et al. (2016). Association Between Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Risk of Dementia. JAMA Oncology, published online. DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3662.
Figure legend: This Knowridge.com image is credited to Khuloud T. Al-Jamal & Izzat Suffian, Wellcome Images.