Reducing Inflammation May Lower Dementia Risk in RA
The incidence of dementia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who took either a biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (bDMARD) or targeted synthetic DMARD (tsDMARD) was significantly lower than the rate observed in patients who take only a conventional synthetic DMARD (csDMARD) in a national database study.
The work builds on previous research indicating a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in people with RA. While joint pain and swelling are the cardinal symptoms of RA, its systemic inflammation leads to multiple systemic manifestations, offering biologically plausible links with cognitive decline. In addition, patients with RA have high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, disability, and physical inactivity, all of which are risk factors for dementia.
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@abhila Chronic neuroinflammation secondary to either intrinsic or systemic stimuli is thought to play a key role in dementia development, especially Alzheimer's dementia (AD). Research showing a role of tumor necrosis factor–alpha (TNF-alpha) in the development of dementia has piqued interest in a potential protective effect of TNF inhibitors. "TNF-alpha is thought to have an important role in different stages of the pathophysiology and disease progression of Alzheimer's disease," study first author Sebastian E. Sattui, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the University of Pittsburgh Vasculitis Center, said in an interview. "Animal models have shown that TNF inhibition reduces microgliosis, neuronal loss, and tau phosphorylation. Cognitive improvement has been seen in two trials with Alzheimer's disease patients, but were not in rheumatoid arthritis patients."