Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cancer Survivors Have Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

New results from the Framingham Heart Study suggest that cancer survivors have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers reported online March 12 in the BMJ the results of their 1986 to 1990 study of 1,278 participants with and without a history of cancer who were aged 65 or older and free of dementia at baseline. They concluded that cancer survivors had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than those without cancer, and patients with Alzheimer’s disease had a lower risk of incident cancer. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease was lower in survivors of smoking-related cancers and was not primarily explained by survival bias. “This pattern for cancer is similar to that seen in Parkinson’s disease and suggests an inverse association between cancer and neurodegeneration,” said the researchers.

Learn more about the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease in the Clinical Manual of Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias, available from American Psychiatric Publishing here.

(Image: Lisa F. Young/


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