Previous studies have shown men who undergo androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) may be at an increased risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, compared to men who were not treated with the therapy.
"Androgens play a key role in neuron maintenance and growth, so the longer you undergo this therapy to decrease androgens, the more it may impact the brain's normal functions," said lead author Kevin Nead, University of Pennsylvania.
"This analysis tells us that the composite message of existing studies is that androgen deprivation therapy is associated with dementia," Nead added, in the paper published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.
For the study, the team compiled data from four different global databases looking at studies on ADT patients and dementia and Alzheimer's. An analysis of more than 50,000 patients worldwide showed a consistent statistical link between men who underwent ADT for prostate cancer and men who developed dementia.
"There's enough evidence of these links that patients should know about them when considering their options," Nead added.