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Does Gout Reduce Alzheimer's Risk?

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A new study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases†finds that gout may have an upside, suggesting that people who are diagnosed with this form of arthritis have a reduced risk for Alzheimerís disease (AD).

Researchers compared the medical records of 59,224 gout patients (average age, 65 years) with those of 238,805 similar people who didnít have gout, and they identified 309 new cases of AD. After accounting for other potential influences on the risk for dementia, they found that gout sufferers had a 24 percent lower risk for developing AD.

The reason gout patients may gain some protection against AD is unclear, but authors of the study propose a potential explanation. Gout occurs when a naturally occurring waste product called uric acid accumulates in joints and causes the formation of pain-producing crystals that often accumulate in the big toe. Yet uric acid is also an antioxidant, which means that it protects against a phenomenon called oxidative stress that can destroy brain cells.

Keep in mind that these findings donít prove that people with gout are less likely to develop AD; more research is needed for that. In the meantime, memory experts say good ways to help preserve your memory and thinking skills as you age are to stay mentally stimulated, follow a healthy diet, exercise and donít smoke.

Posted in Arthritis on February 10, 2016

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

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Scientific American White Paper: Arthritis Cover

2016 Arthritis White Paper

Arthritis now affects millions of Americans. The Scientific American Consumer Health Arthritis White Paper provides in-depth knowledge on the most recent breakthroughs concerning the most common forms of arthritis-osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it includes two other rheumatic diseases: fibromyalgia syndrome and bursitis, and also ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and lyme disease.

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