Recent study has found that drugs designed to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients may also protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston analyzed the medical records of 2,644 patients who received organ transplants — and were taking drugs to prevent rejection.
They found that these patients were far less likely to develop dementia than the general population. Only eight patients developed dementia — two younger than 65 years of age, five between 65 and 74, and just one over 75.
The findings, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
, suggest that anti-organ-rejection medications taken by transplant patients that block an enzyme known as calcineurin, which regulates communication between brain cells, also prevent dementia.
"These data clearly show that the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's in our transplant patient group is significantly lower, in fact almost absent, when compared to national data from the general population," noted lead researcher Luca Cicalese.