A new study has revealed that there may be a leak between gout and Alzheimer’s. It appears that having gout could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Gout is a debilitating condition that affects around 8 million people in the U.S. It is caused by an overproduction or underproduction of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) and it is a form of inflammatory arthritis. Hyperuricemia leads to the deposition of crystals of uric acid in the body tissue, which causes inflammation and bone growths.
At first gout occurs in the big toe and can spread to heels, knees, elbows, fingers, wrists and ankles and symptoms disappear within a few days. As time goes on, attacks last longer and occur more frequently.
A recent study has revealed that there may just be a positive side to gout, as it appears that the condition could significantly reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It is the buildup of uric acid that researchers believe may protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
Lead author of the study, Hyon K. Choi, from the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital stated that the study showed that while excess uric acid in the blood is linked to an increased risk of kidney and cardiovascular diseases, it is also linked to decreased risk to develop Alzheimer’s.
The neuroprotective effect of uric acid has been already proved by other studies, including one in particular that showed uric acid may slow or prevent Parkinson’s disease altogether.
The scientists used data from 10.2 million patients from 580 GPs in the United Kingdom. The data was taken from The Health Improvement Network and after careful examination of it, it was found that gout was linked to 24% reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
Choi concluded that the study’s findings provide the first evidence that is population-based for the potential protective effect of gout on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and also support previous studies that uric acid has a neuroprotective role.
The authors stated:
In animal models of Parkinson’s disease, uric acid has shown neuroprotective effects against oxidative stress-induced dopaminergic neuron death and similar neuroprotective effects have been observed in animal models of other neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury.
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