Inflammatory Conditions Linked to Higher Risk of Alzheimer’s

Inflammatory Conditions Linked to Higher Risk of Alzheimer’s
Patients with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which can be reduced by treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. That finding, “Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Blocking Agents Reduce Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriasis,” was published in the journal medRxiv and presented in a scientific poster, (page 138) during the 12th Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease Meeting (CTAD), held in San Diego, California, in December. Alzheimer’s progression involves inflammatory changes in the brain, which are thought to be driven, at least in part, by the overproduction of pro-inflammatory molecules like TNF. Excessive production of TNF is the root cause of many inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). These diseases can be treated effectively with TNF blocking agents. “TNF produced systemically [as in patients with inflammatory diseases] may directly enter the brain (...) and affect inflammatory processes in the brain relevant to Alzheimer’s disease,” the researchers wrote. To test if patients with pre-existing inflammatory diseases have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and if this risk could be reduced by treatment with TNF inhibitors, investigators at Tetra Therapeutics, in collaboration with colleagues at Case Western Reserve University and The MetroHealth System, reviewed the medical records of 56 million patients with various types of inflammatory diseases. Anonymous electronic health records were collected using the IBM Watson Health Explorys Cohort Discovery platfor
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