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Having Alzheimer's Can Significantly Reduce Your Risk Of Lung Cancer!

In a surprising finding, researchers suggest that high immune functioning in Alzheimer's patients may ward away risk of other diseases.

Having Alzheimer's Can Significantly Reduce Your Risk Of Lung Cancer!

Patients with Alzheimer face a lower risk of getting lung cancer than others

A recent study has shown that people with Alzheimer's disease are less likely to develop lung cancer. While the life threatening risk of acquiring tumors in brain at later stage has not entirely died down, there is a sheer possibility that they might not fall prey to deadly lung cancer. The entire study was premised upon an amazing phenomenon called co-morbidity, according to which a person with multiple diseases is likely to have better immunity for one of the diseases over another.

Previous Studies and Speculations

The increase in life expectancy rate has made people prone to multiple diseases at a time. In order to tackle the invasion of multiple foreign particles, the body develops its own defense mechanism which prevents the incidence of one particular pathology in presence of another when its genomic composition doesn't align well with the former.

Epidemiology has identified a number of such relationships, such as a lower incidence of cancer in people with certain diseases that affect the central nervous system. In 2014, a yet another report based on similar speculations in the journal- PLoS Genetics, revealed that over-expressed genes in the central nervous system diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia) were under-expressed in cancer (lung, colon and prostrate) and vice versa.

Genetic Alterations

The research was conducted at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), under the supervision of Alfonso Valencia. The researchers came up with a new meta-analytical tool, especially designed for this particular experiment, to conduct their tests. The main objective was to establish a relationship between Alzheimer's diseases and brain tumour (glioblastoma) while taking references from lung cancer data.

"The analysis of glioblastoma, which has a direct comorbidity link with Azheimer's and that, in addition, originates in the same organ, has allowed us to better understand the molecular comorbidity between Alzheimer's disease and cancer, and eliminate tissue-dependent bias," said lead author Jon Sanchez-Valle.

A sample size of 1000 patients suffering from different diseases (Alzheimer's, brain tumour and Lung Cancer) was taken into account and it was found that out of all those, the functioning of 198 genes showed some alterations at the end of the experiment. Evoking a Eureka moment, 112 genes out of those 198, had similar pattern in Alzheimer's disease and glioblastoma and the opposite pattern in lung cancer.

Time to rejoice

After taking a close look at the genetic alterations in the three cases (as taken in the experiment), the researchers confirmed that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a key role in the developments of Alzheimer's and could also increase the risk of brain tumors in patients with Alzheimer's disease, through the emergence of chronic inflammation in the brain. A yet another revelation that came out after the study was how the decrease in the energy supply and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to the alterations would, in turn, be related to the protection against lung cancer in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

According to various research scholars associated in similar experiments, this recently published report could help in the search for new uses for existing drugs which would catalyze the medical operations and diagnosis. Furthermore, this study would also encourage scientists to innovate therapeutic combinations to treat these diseases based on patient-specific genomic information.



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