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Breast cancer treatment decreases risk of dementia

AAN 2021
In a retrospective review study, women with breast cancer who were taking oestrogen-modulating therapy (EMT) had a decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia.

As the number of women with a diagnosis of breast cancer increases and survival rates improve, the number of women living with breast cancer who are at risk of other diseases will escalate. The presented study involved a review from medical records of 57,843 perimenopausal to postmenopausal women from the United States with breast cancer [1]. Of these, 18,126 (31.3%) received EMT ‚Äďtamoxifen or steroidal aromatase inhibitors, mainly exemestane‚Äď for breast cancer treatment.

Using EMTs was associated with a significantly lower risk of a neurodegenerative disease, especially AD (RR 0.827; 95% CI 0.759‚Äď0.901; P<0.0001). Overall rate and proportion of neurodegenerative disease-free survival were determined in patients who developed neurodegenerative disease. Results indicated that reduction of neurodegenerative disease risk increased with age. Current research aims to identify molecular mechanisms by which EMT protects against AD and dementia.

  1. Branigan GL. Breast Cancer Therapies Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: Clinic to Bench Translation. S19.004, AAN 2021 Virtual Congress, 17-22 April.

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