The team compiled data from four different global databases looking at studies on ADT patients and dementia and Alzheimer’s. An analysis of more than 50,000 patients worldwide showed a consistent statistical link between men who underwent ADT for prostate cancer and men who developed dementia. Nead says the numbers show correlation, not causation at this point, but that there is evidence of a direct connection.
“Research shows androgens play a key role in neuron maintenance and growth, so the longer you undergo this therapy to decrease androgens, the more it may impact the brain’s normal functions,” Nead said.
The analysis was less conclusive on the question of Alzheimer’s. While there was still a connection, it was not as clearly defined as the link to dementia. Nead says evidence for a link between ADT and neurocognitive dysfunction is growing and should be part of the conversation between doctors and patients.
“There’s enough evidence of these links that patients should know about them when considering their options,” Nead said.