Wednesday March 20, 2019

Oral Hormone Therapy Closely Associated with Alzheimer’s Risk, Says Study

This is an observational study, and as such cannot establish cause, the researchers said

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In Alzheimer's disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

Long-term use of oral hormone therapy for relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats, could be associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, finds a new study.

Overall, the use of oral hormone therapy was associated with a nine to 17 per cent increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, whereas use of vaginal hormone therapy — transdermal treatments, such as patches, gels and creams — showed no such risk, said the study published by The BMJ.

This indicated nine to 18 additional cases of Alzheimer’s disease per year will be detected in 10,000 women between 70 to 80 years of age, especially in those who had used hormone therapy for over 10 years.

Although the absolute risk is small, women should be informed of the potential risk associated with prolonged use, stressed Tomi S Mikkola, Associate Professor at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

Moreover, among women who were younger than 60 when they started on hormone therapy, the increased risk was associated with exposure for over 10 years.

Cognitive Impairment
Alzheimer’s disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s predicted that by 2050, 135 million Americans are going to suffer from mild cognitive impairment, a precursor of Alzheimer’s. VOA

“Long term use of systemic hormone therapy might be accompanied with an overall increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, which is not related to the type of progestogen or the age at initiation,” the researchers said.

“By contrast, use of vaginal estradiol shows no such risk,” they added.

However, the evidence does not suggest that younger women should be concerned about using hormone therapy in the short term.

Also Read- Researchers Suggest Childbirth at The Age of 50 Safe

For the study, the researchers included 84,739 postmenopausal women diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (cases) with the same number of postmenopausal women without a diagnosis (controls) to compare use of hormone therapy.

This is an observational study, and as such cannot establish cause, the researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

Eye Test May Help in Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Conversely, in the eyes of 39 people with Alzheimer's disease, that web was less dense and even sparse in places

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In Alzheimer's disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

A future non-invasive eye test may allow early detection of Alzheimer’s disease before memory loss kicks in, say a team led by an Indian-origin researcher.

Retina being an extension of the brain, the optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) will check patients’ vision as well as brain health, said the study published in the journal Ophthalmology Retina.

The researchers said that loss of blood vessels in retina would reflect changes in the brain, be it for both healthy people or Alzheimer’s patients.

“We know that there are changes that occur in the brain in the small blood vessels in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and because the retina is an extension of the brain, we wanted to investigate whether these changes could be detected,” said lead author Dilraj S. Grewal, ophthalmologist at Duke University.

Using the OCTA that uses light waves that reveal blood flow in every layer of the retina, the researches checked more than 200 people.

A lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. Flickr

They found that in people with healthy brains, microscopic blood vessels form a dense web at the back of the eye inside the retina — as was seen in 133 participants in a control group.

Conversely, in the eyes of 39 people with Alzheimer’s disease, that web was less dense and even sparse in places.

Also Read- Infertile Women Tend to Develop High risk of Cancer

The OCTA machines, relatively a new noninvasive technology, measures blood vessels that cannot be seen during a regular eye examination.

“It’s possible that these changes in blood vessel density in the retina could mirror what’s going on in the tiny blood vessels in the brain, perhaps before we are able to detect any changes in cognition,” added Sharon Fekrat, ophthalmologist at the Duke University in the US. (IANS)