Scientists from the National Institute on Aging found that certain rheumatoid arthritis drugs may lower the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in people with heart disease.
While the findings do not support the broad use of these drugs for treating Alzheimer’s and related dementias, the results may point to a promising precision-medicine approach in specific groups of people at risk for developing these diseases.
The research is published in JAMA Network Open.
Discovering new drug targets in Alzheimer’s and related dementias is crucial for meeting the enormous public health challenge of these diseases.
Prior studies on whether approved rheumatoid arthritis drugs lower the risk of developing dementia have produced mixed results.
In this study, the team analyzed data in Medicare claims from more than 22,000 people, looking at whether those with rheumatoid arthritis who took one of three different classes of arthritis drugs were protected from dementia.
There were no strong associations with lowered dementia risk except among those with heart disease who were treated with one class of arthritis drugs called TNF inhibitors.
These inhibitors suppress the immune system by blocking the activity of TNF, which is a substance in the body that can cause inflammation and lead to immune-system diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the root cause of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s, and 5 steps to protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
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