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article imageStudy: Getting gout lowers chances of Alzheimer's by 24 percent

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 5, 2015 in Health
Researchers in Massachusetts released a study in which they found gout, an inflammatory arthritic condition, lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease by 24 percent. Gout is caused by rich diets leading to a build-up of uric acid.
Gout, uric acid and Alzheimer's
In the U.K. one in 40 have gout, the majority men. Once called "the disease of kings," gout was considered reserved for the rich because food habits leading to gout, like eating lots of red meat and other rich foods and drinking alcohol, were habits the wealthy could easily maintain. That is no longer the case and gout has become more widespread.
There have been studies finding uric acid has antioxidant properties that helps the brain combat degeneration, but before this study none looked at a connection between gout, uric acid and Alzheimer's. The uric acid in gout is almost certainly the reason having it reduces the chance of getting Alzheimer's, but the study did not prove that to be the case.
If the uric acid is found with certainty to be the reason getting Alzheimer's is lessened for those with gout then researchers will seek ways to use uric acid without having the patient first contracting gout, which is a debilitating and dangerous condition that can lead to heart and kidney disease.
Neuroprotective role of uric acid
The researchers looked at data on 298,009 British men and women with an average age of 65. Of them 59,204 had gout and 238,805 did not. After they took into account other conditions, like age, lifestyle, sex and socio-economic conditions, they found that those with gout had a 24 percent lower risk of getting Alzheimer's.
The researchers said their results are promising. “Our findings provide the first general population-based evidence that gout is inversely associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease," the conclusion of the study said. "Supporting the purported potential neuroprotective role of uric acid."
Conducted by researchers at the Boston University Medical Center and the Massachusetts General Hospital, the study was published in the March edition of the journal 'Annals of Rheumatic Disease.'
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