Friday May 24, 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

Smartphone Game can Help Detect Alzheimer’s Risk

The team studied gaming data taken from 27,108 UK players, aged 50-75 years and the most vulnerable age-group to develop Alzheimer’s in the next decade. They compared this benchmark data with a smaller lab-based group of 60 people who underwent genetic testing

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

A specially designed smartphone game can detect people at the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, say researchers.

The game called Sea Hero Quest, downloaded and played by over 4.3 million people worldwide, helped researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) better understand dementia by seeing how the brain works in relation to spatial navigation.

The game has been developed by Deutsche Telekom in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, University College London (UCL) and the University of East Anglia.

“Dementia will affect 135 million people worldwide by 2050. We need to identify people to reduce their risk of developing dementia,” said Lead researcher Professor Michael Hornberger from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

As players made their way through mazes of islands and icebergs, the research team translated every 0.5 seconds of gameplay into scientific data. The team studied how people who are genetically pre-disposed to Alzheimer’s play the game compared with those who are not.

A lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. Flickr

The results, published in the journal PNAS, showed people genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s can be distinguished from those who are not on specific levels of the Sea Hero Quest game.

Also Read- 4 Out of 5 Brands Selling Phones Below Industry Price: Report

The findings are particularly important because a standard memory and thinking test cannot distinguish between the risk and non-risk groups. “Our findings show we can reliably detect such subtle navigation changes in at-genetic-risk of Alzheimer’s compared with healthy people without any symptoms or complaints,” said Hornberger.

The team studied gaming data taken from 27,108 UK players, aged 50-75 years and the most vulnerable age-group to develop Alzheimer’s in the next decade. They compared this benchmark data with a smaller lab-based group of 60 people who underwent genetic testing. (IANS)