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Risk of Dementia From Androgen-Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

By: Sara Tewksbury
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Previous observations have suggested that androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) used to treat prostate cancer may increase the risk of dementia in these patients. However, a study conducted by David Robinson, PhD, of Ryhov Hospital, Jönköping, Sweden, found no association between ADT and Alzheimer’s disease. They did note a small increase in the risk of dementia in those with non-Alzheimer’s dementia. Their findings were published in BJU International.

The study compared data on 25,967 men with prostate cancer managed with ADT or watchful waiting in the Prostate Cancer Database Sweden with those on 121,018 men who did not have prostate cancer. They were diagnosed after January 2006 and were matched on birth year and county of residency. These patients were followed for a median of 4 years.

In both groups of men, 6% were diagnosed with dementia. The use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists and orchiectomy seemed to be associated with an increased risk of dementia. The increased risk was seen in non-Alzheimer’s dementia from 1 to 4 years after the start of ADT. Patients treated with antiandrogen treatment or watchful waiting did not appear to be more likely than men without prostate cancer to be diagnosed with dementia.

Researchers did not see an increased risk of dementia between men on ADT and Alzheimer’s dementia, but there was a small increase in the risk of non-Alzheimer’s dementia. Future studies are needed to look into the association among ADT, depression, and non-Alzheimer’s dementia.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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