Is ADT giving you Alzheimer’s disease? … Another look

Late last year we reported on a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that suggested the possibility of a link between androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

In our report, we noted that there might be all sorts of possible reasons that could explain such a finding, and that the finding of an “association” of this type was a long way from a finding of “cause and effect”.

Apparently we were not the only people who felt that rather more data would be needed before anyone should conclude that ADT was necessarily the cause of an increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Several recent letters to the editor published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology have now addressed this issue (see the letters by Bowen et al., by Froehner and Wirth, by Leow et al., and by Brady et al., as well as the response to these letters by Nead et al., the authors of the original report).

The four letters raise a variety of issues relevant to the question of whether the postulated association between ADT and Alzehimer’s disease might or might not be “real”.

In their response to the four letters to the editor, Nead et al. state that:

… we fully agree that the results of this study should be communicated to patients with caution. ADT has been shown in multiple randomized trials to offer a survival benefit in men with prostate cancer, whereas our study provides data to support further research of the impact of ADT on risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink is all for additional research that might help to clarify any degree of risk for Alzheimer’s disease that might be associated with the use of ADT in treatment of prostate cancer. However, the degree of ease or difficulty associated with assuring such clarification may be somewhat difficult to predict.

2 Responses

  1. Mike – thanks for putting this together. I have read all the interesting responses that you linked. The comment from Leow et al actually repeats the previous link, but I was able to find the right link (in the response by Nead et al): .

  2. Link is now fixed. Apparently I wasn’t having a good day yesterday!

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