News ArchivesRead News
Alzheimer's Patients Get Less Cancer
Wednesday December 30, 2009
Cancer History Linked to Less Alzheimer’s
webMD - Having Alzheimer’s disease just may convey some protection against cancer, and vice versa, early research suggests.
Compared to elderly study participants without Alzheimer’s disease, those with Alzheimer’s were less likely to be diagnosed with cancer over eight years of follow-up.
Elderly whites with cancer at the beginning of the study were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over five years of follow-up, but the lower risk was not seen in other groups.
Several previous studies have shown a lower incidence of cancer in patients with Parkinson’s disease, which, like Alzheimer’s, is a degenerative disorder affecting the brain.
The newly published research suggests a similar link between cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
“This study adds to the literature suggesting that cancer and neurodegenerative diseases may be related,” lead researcher Catherine M. Roe, PhD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, tells WebMD.
Alzheimer’s Patients Get Cancer Later
In an earlier study, Roe and colleagues reported that elderly patients with Alzheimer’s developed cancer later than patients without dementia. Patients with a history of cancer also tended to be diagnosed with dementia later in life.
But it was not clear if the association was because of confounding factors, such as the fact that cancer patients often die before they reach the high-risk age for Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s patients tend to be screened less aggressively for cancer.
In their newly published study, Roe and colleagues attempted to control for many of these potential confounders.
The study included patients with Alzheimer’s disease, caused by loss of nerve cells within the brain, and vascular dementia, caused by impaired blood flow to the brain as a result of stroke and other cardiovascular causes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and vascular dementia is the second most common type.
About 3,000 people aged 65 and older enrolled in a large heart health study were included in the analysis.
Alzheimer's Patients Had 69% Lower Cancer Risk
Having vascular dementia at the start of the study appeared to have no impact on hospitalization for cancer over eight years of follow-up.
But compared to people without Alzheimer’s, patients with Alzheimer’s disease at study entry were 69% less likely to be hospitalized with cancer during the same time period.
The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease was reduced by 43% in white patients with a history of cancer, compared to participants without cancer, but the finding did not hold for other racial and ethnic groups.
The study appears online and in the Jan. 12 issue of the journal Neurology.
Roe says more research is needed to determine if cancer and degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s really are related.
Recent NewsOct 17 - Scientists Identify Structure of PINK1, Key Parkinson’s-protective Protein
Oct 17 - Diabetes drug cuts Parkinson's risk by 28 percent, study finds
Oct 10 - Advances in Brain Pacemaker Reduces Tremors, Helps Parkinson's Sufferers Live a More Normal Life
Oct 10 - Medical History Could Help Predict Parkinson's Disease Risk Long Before Diagnosis
Oct 3 - Changes in Olfactory Bulb Explain Loss of Smell in Early Stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Study Finds
Oct 3 - Sleep Disturbances May Worsen Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease, Study Suggests
Sep 12 - Australian Researchers Develop New Diagnostic Tool to Spot Early Signs of Parkinson’s
Sep 11 - GeneFo Webinar to Focus on Using Humor to Manage Parkinson’s Disease
Sep 6 - Parkinson’s and the ‘D’ word
Sep 6 - Compounds in Asthma Drugs Might Be Used as Parkinson’s Treatment
Sep 5 - AstraZeneca Joins Takeda, Berg to Advance Development of Parkinson’s Disease Therapies
Sep 1 - Stem Cell Transplant Trial in Parkinson’s Patients Planned After Test in Japan Succeeds in Monkeys
Sep 1 - Titan to Start Phase 1/2 Study of Subdermal Implant to Deliver Requip to Parkinson’s Patients
Aug 30 - FDA Refuses Acorda’s Inbrija New Drug Application Due to Manufacturing Questions
Aug 23 - Support Groups: Are They for You?
Aug 22 - Internet Visits with Parkinson’s Specialist Can Be as Effective as In-person Visits, Trial Finds
Aug 21 - Cavion’s New CMO to Lead Cav3 Platform Development for Neurological Diseases
Aug 15 - Singing Helps Early-stage Parkinson’s Patients Retain Speech, Respiratory Control, Studies Show
Aug 14 - 16 Tips to Increase Your Mobility Confidence While Living With Parkinson’s Disease
Aug 10 - Boxers are fighting back against Parkinson’s