Cognitive dysfunction, including Alzheimer’s disease, has been related to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Scientists from Stanford reported that men who were undergoing ADT to treat prostate cancer had significantly increased risk of developing dementia (published in JAMA Oncology). ADT is a common treatment for prostate cancer because the cancer cells usually require androgens, like testosterone, to proliferate. However, the positive impact of ADT on prostate cancer is often temporary, and has important negative side effects. Parsemus Foundation supports ongoing research to better understand the role of testosterone and Alzheimer’s disease.
The situation of altering hormones to treat prostate cancer mimics that of anti-estrogen therapy to treat breast cancer. Our research in a mouse breast cancer model showed that bio identical hormones (rather than anti-hormone therapy) could actually improve outcomes and quality of life.