Published on: June 13, 2015
by Nick Tate for NewsMax:
Drugs designed to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients may also protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study has found.
Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston who analyzed the medical records of 2,644 patients who received organ transplants — and were taking drugs to prevent rejection — were far less likely to develop dementia than the general population. In fact, only eight of the patients developed dementia — two younger than 65 years of age, five between 65 and 74, and just one over 75, Medical News Today report.
The findings, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggest anti-organ-rejection medications taken by transplant patients that block an enzyme known as calcineurin — which regulates communication between brain cells — also prevent dementia.
Past studies involving mice have linked the enzyme to the toxic effects of beta-amyloid oligomers, which build up in the brain and can cause Alzheimer’s disease. Elevated levels of calcineurin are also typically found in the nervous systems of people with Alzheimer’s.
“These data clearly show that the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s in our transplant patient group is significantly lower, in fact almost absent, when compared to national data from the general population,” noted lead researcher Luca Cicalese.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of...
In a new study, University of Nebraska–Lincoln sociologist Marc A. Garcia explored how educational attainment can benefit cognitive health in later life, and whether there are differences in its benefits among minorities. Garcia and his co-authors...
A genetic variation in some people may be associated with cognitive decline that can’t be explained by deposits of two key proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid β and tau, according to a study...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.