Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Gout and Alzheimer’s Disease

Here's some good news about gout: new research suggests it might protect against Alzheimer's disease. Investigators looked at medical database records in the U.K. to examine the health consequences associated with gout. They identified 59,224 individuals with gout, about 71 percent of them male, and matched their medical cases with 238,805 men and women of similar health who didn't have gout. After 5.1 years of follow up, the researchers found 309 new cases of Alzheimer's disease in the gout patients and 1,942 in the control group. After adjusting for body mass index, smoking, alcohol use and other factors, the researchers concluded that gout seems to lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 24 percent. Earlier research had suggested that increased uric acid levels may be protective against dementia, and elevated blood levels of uric acid, a breakdown product of protein metabolism, are a hallmark of gout. Study leader Hyon Choi, M.D., Dr.P.H., director of epidemiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, was quoted in news reports as saying that while the association of uric acid and cognitive health are still speculative, uric acid has proven antioxidant properties, and has been shown in animal studies to protect against oxidative stress induced death of brain cells. The study results were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.