Scientists believe that gout, which is a painful joint condition, can have protective effects on the human brain.
When gout settles in human joints, it creates a large amount of uric acid, which is known to protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
The recent study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Boston University Medical Centre in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital.
The study was made in the United States with data collected from UK citizens provided by the Health Improvement Network database.
The study involved data from more than 3.7 million people between the ages of 40 and older, while excluding the individuals who suffered from gout or dementia.
The study revealed that 309 cases of Alzheimer’s disease among 59,224 people with gout.
The results were compared with 1,942 cases of Alzheimer’s found in 238,805 people over a period of five years.
According to the researchers who conducted the studies, the results suggest that patients with a history of gout had a 24% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study did not take into consideration factors like, age, sex, body mass index, history of cardiovascular conditions, lifestyle, socio-economic status or any history of heart medication usage.
The experts said that this the first study that shows the possible protective effect of gout on Alzheimer’s disease. Also, it’s the first study which shows that the uric acid may have neuroprotective properties.
The researchers added that further studies are needed in order to see whether Parkinson’s disease is less likely to develop in people who suffer from gout.
Gout is caused by a high amount of uric acid released in the blood. Some of the causes of gout include eating a diet rich in meat and seafood, which have a high content of purine. Also, alcohol consumption is believed to be one of the causes leading to gout, as well as regular use of aspirin and niacin, a high blood pressure and rapid weight loss.
Image Source: clinsite