Saturday January 18, 2020

Study: Gout May Increase Dementia Risk in Elderly

Gout -- a very common condition -- is caused by deposits of crystals of a substance called uric acid (also known as urate) in the joints, which leads to inflammation

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The researchers believe that this type of low intensity sound therapy may benefit humans. (IANS)

Elderly people suffering from gout may have 17-20 per cent higher risk of dementia, suggests a new study by a team that includes an Indian-origin researcher.

Gout — a very common condition — is caused by deposits of crystals of a substance called uric acid (also known as urate) in the joints, which leads to inflammation.

Periods of time when patients are experiencing gout symptoms are called flares. Flares can be unpredictable and debilitating, developing over a few hours and causing severe pain in the joints.

“Our study found a considerable increased risk of dementia associated with gout in the elderly,” said co-author Jasvinder Singh, a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the US.

For the study, presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018), the researchers included 1.23 million Medicare beneficiaries, of which 65,325 had incident dementia.

Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds With Raised Blood Pressure
Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds raises with Blood Pressure . Pixabay

In an analysis which was adjusted for various potential confounding variables including demographics, comorbidities and commonly used medications, the results showed that gout is independently associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia.

The association was larger in older age groups, females, black race, and people with higher medical comorbidity.

Subgroup analyses indicated that gout was associated with a significant 20-57 per cent increase in dementia in patients without key comorbidities; coronary artery disease (CAD), hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or hypertension.

Also Read: Study: Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds With Raised Blood Pressure

However, this was not the case in patients with each of these comorbidities, except in patients with CAD, the researchers said.

Guidelines for the treatment of gout recommend lowering uric acid levels, although maintaining too low levels is a concern because uric acid is thought to protect the brain, they added.

“Further study is needed to explore these relationships and understand the pathogenic pathways involved in this increased risk,” Singh noted. (IANS)

Next Story

This Class of Antibiotics Can Treat Dementia

Antibiotics to treat early dementia show promise

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Frontotemporal dementia, is the most common type of early onset dementia, typically begins between ages 40 and 65. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a class of antibiotics called “Aminoglycosides” could be a promising treatment for early onset dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia, is the most common type of early onset dementia, typically begins between ages 40 and 65 and affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which leads to behaviour changes, difficulty speaking and writing and memory deterioration.

According to the study, published in the journal “Human Molecular Genetics”, a subgroup of patients with frontotemporal dementia have a specific genetic mutation that prevents brain cells from making a protein called progranulin.

Although progranulin is not widely understood, its absence is linked to the disease.

The researchers from University of Kentucky in US, discovered that after aminoglycoside antibiotics were added to neuronal cells with this mutation, the cells started making the full-length progranulin protein by skipping the mutation.

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Currently, there are no effective therapies for any type of dementia. Pixabay

“These patients” brain cells have a mutation that prevents progranulin from being made. The team found that by adding a small antibiotic molecule to the cells, they could ‘trick’ the cellular machinery into making it,” said study co-author Matthew Gentry from the University of Kentucky.

The researchers found two specific aminoglycoside antibiotics – Gentamicin and G418 – were both effective in fixing the mutation and making the functional progranulin protein.

After adding Gentamicin or G418 molecules to the affected cells, the progranulin protein level was recovered up to about 50 to 60 per cent.

These results could be promising to drug development. Currently, there are no effective therapies for any type of dementia, the researchers said.

After this pre-clinical proof of concept study, the next step is to study the antibiotics’ effects on mice with the mutation that causes frontotemporal dementia, they added.

Another focus is to possibly develop new compounds from Gentamicin and G418 that could be safer and more effective.

Also Read- Losing Weight May Increase Testosterone Levels in Men: Researchers

“If we can get the right resources and physician to work with, we could potentially repurpose this drug,” Zhu added.

This is an early stage of the study, but it provides an important proof of concept that these aminoglycoside antibiotics or their derivatives can be a therapeutic avenue for frontotemporal dementia,” Zhu added. (IANS)