Arthritis drugs many benefit some patients with Alzheimer’s

New findings from an ongoing study suggest that some arthritis drugs may reduce Alzheimer’s and dementia related risk in some patients.

Dr. Damon Salzman, a neurologist with the Cleveland Clinic Weston said the study found the benefit from certain rheumatoid arthritis drugs against these neurologic conditions related specifically to people with cardiovascular disease.

“We’ve known for years that having coronary artery disease is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s however many people who have no coronary artery disease also developing Alzheimer’s so what this may be telling us is there are different mechanisms of Alzheimer’s that are affecting different people differently,” Salzman said.

Salzman said the class of drugs investigated in the study are called TNF inhibitors, which prevent TNF, a substance in the body, from causing inflammation that can lead to immune system diseases.

Prior studies on the benefit of rheumatoid arthritis drugs for Alzheimer’s and other dementia’s have been mixed but researchers say continuing the search for new drug targets is crucial to meeting the public health challenge of these diseases.

And a longitudinal analysis is revealing risk factors associated with dementia by age.

At age 55, diabetes and high blood pressure were the key predictors of future dementia.

At 65, non-stroke cardiovascular disease was the most important risk factor.

And for people in their 70s, diabetes and stroke topped the list.

Co-authors of the study published in Neurology said the findings support the use of age-specific dementia risk scores.

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