Could there be a combined treatment for arthritis and dementia? Up to 3% of people have the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The disease’s signature, joint inflammation, results in swelling, stiffness, and motion restriction. Particularly in the tiny joints of the hands and wrists.
However, rheumatoid arthritis causes widespread inflammation that is not just restricted to the joints. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis is known for its skin nodules, eye inflammation, and lung scarring. All of which are linked to uncontrolled inflammation. Interestingly, dementia may be greatly influenced by inflammation. So, may anti-inflammatory drugs for rheumatoid arthritis impact the likelihood of getting dementia?
The finding that RA therapies might prevent dementia could be revolutionary given that there are currently no effective preventive medications for Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
What proof does this proposition have?
The most recent and intriguing observational studies are included below.
- According to a 2019 study, those with RA who were taking routine drugs had a significantly lower risk of dementia over a five-year period than those without RA.
- The prevalence of dementia has climbed among the general population in recent decades while declining among RA patients. Treatments for RA had advanced throughout that time.
- Some of the most compelling results come from a 2022 study that examined individuals using various RA treatments. It was discovered that during the course of the study’s three years, dementia occurred 19% less frequently in RA patients receiving the newest, most efficient therapy than in patients receiving older medications. When individuals receiving a variety of more modern medications were compared, the dementia rate did not differ significantly.
These studies collectively imply that some rheumatoid arthritis medicines may shield the brain as well as the joints. Protecting both from damage. It has happened before that a drug produced an unexpectedly beneficial side effect. However, it might be among the most significant.
Treatment for arthritis and dementia? the conclusion
Rheumatoid arthritis has changed from being an often devastating disease to a chronic condition that is typically well-controlled because of treatments developed over the past 50 years. Initial treatment decisions are influenced by a number of variables, such as a drug’s effectiveness, adverse effect profile, route of administration (the majority of patients prefer tablets to injections), price, and insurance coverage.
The capacity of medication to reduce the risk of dementia may soon be added as a factor to this list. This may be especially important for rheumatoid arthritis patients with a significant family history of dementia.