Cancer survivors are less likely to develop Alzheimer's and have better brain health in the 10 years preceding their diagnosis.
- Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have been tracking the baby boomer cohort for 16 years from 1998 to 2014
- . They found that in people with cancer diagnosis in the 10 years prior to their diagnosis, a much lesser decline in cognitive decline Functions was recorded.
Cancer survivors are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
This is not a new theory but a rigorous one The new study, released today, adds its weight and examines more than 14,500 patients.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, tracked the cohort of baby boomers from 1998 to 2014 for 16 years, to test their cognitive function and to ensure medical care reported every two years.
They found that people with cancer diagnoses experienced a much smaller decline in cognitive function in the decade before their diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, most experienced a short-term memory loss, but that balanced and in remission their memory faded much more slowly than in people who had never developed the disease.
Researchers are still baffled by this association, but experts believe that this is partly due to genetics and partly to diff metabolism disorders, which develop with age and predispose some people to Alzheimer's and some to cancer.
People with cancer had a much better perception than those who who did not  The study published in JAMA Network Open builds on a growing field of research that has taken shape over the last five to ten years.
This study uniquely used cognitive screenings and memory tests to measure the cognitive abilities of individuals rather than simply relying on the diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
This meant that they were able to paint a slightly more sophisticated picture of brain changes among humans with and without cancer diagnosis.
Nevertheless, they had the same clear diagram: people with cancer had a much better perception than those who did not.
The length of the study also allowed the team to identify better brain health before a diagnosis that had not been clearly documented.
There are some shortcomings. First and foremost, the report does not reveal whether a particular type of cancer has a stronger association with the low risk of Alzheimer's.
This thread must be followed to better understand this unusual link between the two devastating diseases and possibly lead the scientists to the root of the action.
For the time being, some factors seem to be most likely.
"Recent work suggests that a matrix of common genetic factors directs the risk of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases in opposite directions," write Harvard Medical School researchers, Olivia I. Okereke, MD, and Mary-Ellen Meadows, PhD in an editorial that was published with the study.
They add that "age-related differences in metabolism and bioenergetic balance can protect against neurodegeneration, while increasing cancer risk or increasing AD risk while reducing cancer risk."