Jul 16, 2013 10:09 AM by Marissa Torres
A history of cancer may lead to a decreased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Researchers believe chemotherapy may be the link.
They analyzed health records of three and a half million veterans over age 65. Most types of cancer were associated with a reduced risk for later developing Alzheimer's. The lower risk was most significant among survivors of liver and pancreatic cancer. There was no link for prostate cancer and melanoma.
When investigators looked at cancer treatments, they found it was chemotherapy that appeared to offer the apparent protective benefit.
"The message is not: 'should we use chemotherapy as a therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease?' The message is really focused on 'what does chemotherapy do when it's systemically introduced into the body and in the brain' and 'can we learn from that for potential therapies for Alzheimer's disease?"
Another study presented at the Alzheimer's conference suggests the type two diabetes drug Metformin may also reduce the risk for dementia.