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Does Autoimmune Disease Carry Higher Risk of Dementia?

What are the associations between specific autoimmune diseases and subsequent dementia?


Are autoimmune disease tied to increased dmentia risk? Photo: CC--A Syn

Celiac.com 04/13/2017 - A team of researchers recently set out to determine whether hospital admission for autoimmune disease is associated with an elevated risk of future admission for dementia.

The research team included Clare J Wotton, and Michael J Goldacre, both affiliated with the Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The pair set up their retrospective, record-linkage cohort study using national hospital care and mortality administrative data from 1999–2012. From that patient data, they assembled a study group of people admitted to hospital with a range of autoimmune diseases, along with a control group, and followed forward in time to see if how many patients eventually developed dementia.

Data revealed a total of 1,833,827 people admitted to hospital with an autoimmune disease. The number of patients for each autoimmune disease group ranged from 1,019 patients in the Goodpasture's syndrome group, to 316,043 people in the rheumatoid arthritis group.

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The researchers found that the rate ratio for dementia after admission for an autoimmune disease, compared with the control cohort, was 1.20 (95% CI 1.19 to 1.21). For patients whose dementia type was specified, the rate ratio ranged from 1.04 to 1.08 for Alzheimer's disease, and 1.26 to 1.31 for vascular dementia.

Of the 25 autoimmune diseases studied, 18 showed significant positive associations with dementia, 14 of which were statistically significant. Significant associations include Addison's disease (1.48, 1.34 to 1.64), multiple sclerosis (1.97, 1.88 to 2.07), psoriasis (1.29, 1.25 to 1.34) and systemic lupus erythematosus (1.46, 1.32 to 1.61).

The connections with vascular dementia may be one aspect of a wider connection between autoimmune diseases and vascular damage. Though findings were significant, effect sizes were small. Researchers advise clinicians to note the possibility of dementia in patients with autoimmune disease.

The researchers are calling for further studies to assess their findings and to explore possible ways to reduce any increased risk.

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There is also a celiac center at UCLA - Dr Weiss

mnburis, I'm concerned about your symptoms, especially the diarrhea being so frequent. I experienced pellagra after prolonged diarrhea. The symptoms are diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death. Pellagra is a deficiency of niacin (B 3). With your vitamin D and B 12 already diagnosed as ...

thats so exciting! let me know if you need any help with finding gluten-free products or brands when you move here

I have had NO breath tests done. Just blood, stool, colonoscopy and endoscopy. I'm sorry. I'm feeling so discouraged. I just know its going to be put down to IBS. And I personally feel that IBS is a throw away diagnosis when no one wants to investigate further.

Also, have you been tested for H. Pylori infection? I think I have seen that many ulcers can be attributed to that. It is also diagnosed with a breath test. Hang in there. Many people have been in your shoes. I wish it were easier.