Gout may lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A 2015 study examined the protective effects of gout in regards to reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Gout is a disease categorized by an excess amount of purines and uric acid which crystallize and cause pain. Although gout increases the risk of heart and kidney problems the antioxidant effects or uric acid may be able to protect the brain.
The research team used data from the Health Improvement Network (THIN) which represented the U.K. population between 1995 and 2013. They looked at 3.7 million adults and those with a diagnosis of gout or dementia at the beginning of the study were excluded.
The researchers identified 309 Alzheimer cases among 59,224 patients with gout and 1,942 among 238,805 controls.
The researchers found there was a 24 percent reduction in Alzheimer’s disease in gout patients compared to the controls.
The authors concluded, “Our findings provide the first population-based evidence for the potential protective effect of gout on the risk of AD [Alzheimer’s’ disease] and support the purported neuroprotective role of uric acid.”
“If confirmed by future studies, a therapeutic investigation that has been employed to prevent progression of PD [Parkinson’s disease] may be warranted for this relatively common and devastating condition.”
An alternative studied explored the antioxidant effects of uric acid and how it may protect the brain against dementia. The researchers used data which represented the Taiwanese people with gout and dementia along with control patients without any health conditions.
The researchers focused on 28,769 gout patients over the age of 50 and 114,742 matched control patients. The researchers found that gout patients have a lower risk of developing dementia compared to the control participants.
Although uric acid and gout may offer protective effects for the brain and memory it is still important to recognize that gout is still a serious health condition on its own which is associated with many health complications like damage to the heart and kidneys. It is still recommended that you prevent gout by all means by monitoring your diet and embarking on healthy lifestyle changes, which in turn are also beneficial to the brain and working memory as well.