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Common prostate cancer treatment linked to Alzheimer's

Ohio men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer have a new concern to think about as they consider their treatment options. Researchers at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania have investigated the possible relationship between androgen deprivation therapy, an established method of treating prostate cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Their findings support the probability of an association between the therapy and an increased risk of an Alzheimer's diagnosis.

Androgen deprivation therapy reduces a man's testosterone level along with other androgen agents within the body. The reduction of testosterone sometimes halts tumor growth, and the therapy has been used since the 1940s.

After studying a sample of 2,397 androgen deprivation therapy patients, the researchers found that these men received an Alzheimer's diagnosis 1.88 times more often than men not receiving that therapy. Among men who had this form of treatment for more than 12 months, their incidence of Alzheimer's disease was 2.12 times higher than the control group. One of the study's authors cautioned people not to consider the results of one study an indication of direct causation between that specific prostate cancer treatment and Alzheimer's.

When physicians prescribe treatments, they have many side effects to consider. A person who believes that a medication error caused harm might choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover damages. Medical malpractice claims need to meet multiple conditions, and an attorney will conduct an examination of the patient's medical records and discuss the case with medical experts in order to determine whether or not the health care practitioner or facility followed the requisite standard of care.

Source: UPI, "Common prostate cancer treatment may double Alzheimer's risk", Stephen Feller, Dec. 9, 2015

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