Does Gout Lower the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia that causes problems with your memory and thinking, eventually affecting your behavior and daily life. The majority of people who will suffer from this terrible disease will do so after the age of 65. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and gradually worsens over time.
Alzheimer’s is also the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Some of the most famous people have suffered from this disease including former president Ronald Reagan, actor Charlton Heston, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, singers Perry Como and Glen Campbell. Unfortunately, alzheimer’s has no current cure and treatments can only slow the progression of the disease and its’ symptoms.
Although we still don’t know what triggers Alzheimer’s disease, there are several factors that are known to increase your risk of developing this condition. More notably, family history, any history of whiplash or head injuries, age and cardiovascular disease. But did you know that by suffering from gout and high uric acid (hyperuricemia), we gout sufferers may be at a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at a later point in our lives? Wow! Something positive to cheer about! Well… somewhat I guess!
The Evidence That Higher Uric Acid Levels Can Lower Your Risk of AD
A new study suggests that gout patients face a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease since the high uric acid in our blood offers a neuroprotective role according to famous gout researcher Hyon Choi, MD, DrPH of Massachusetts General Hospital. Utilizing the data from a population based study from The Health Improvement Network which is an electronic medical records database representing the U.K general population.
Choi and colleagues identified 59,224 individuals with gout and compared them with a control group of 238,805 individuals without gout, all with a mean age of 65.3 years old. After following the two groups after several years there was a noticeable difference in the amount of newly developed cases of Alzheimer’s disease in the control group which was way higher than the gout group. Basically, there is a 24% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in people with gout.
Dr.Choi also pointed out that no previous studies had examined the link between gout and Alzheimer’s disease and pointed to the data from the Rotterdam Elderly Study published in Brain 2009 issue, showing an inverse association between uric acid levels and the potential risk of any type of dementia! In addition, high uric acid levels were associated with improved cognitive function later in life!
Dr.Choi went on to say that there are several ongoing studies to prevent the progression of Parkinson’s disease using drugs that raise uric acid levels and that future studies should look into this as a potential treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. It may even work from patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis or MS. Remember that I have outlined how uric acid is a powerful antioxidant in other posts on my website. This is exciting research that can lead to many discoveries in the next few years.
New research dated as of February 2018 shows that high uric acid levels may increase risk for dementia in the elderly as per a French population-based cohort investigation recently published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Now there seems to be conflicting evidence regarding uric acid having a protective effect. So the cat is not out of the bag yet with this topic. Stay tuned!
Posted by Spiro Koulouris