Older patients receiving kidney transplants are at a higher risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, partly due to the disease and the need for neurotoxic immunosuppressant drugs to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ, according to a report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examined the data of nearly 41,000 kidney transplant recipients. They discovered these transplant recipients had a 10-year dementia risk ranging from 5.1 percent for those ages 55 to 60, to 17 percent for recipients 75 and up. The general population has about a 1 percent risk of Alzheimer’s for those 65 years and about 7.5 percent in adults 75 years. The strongest predictors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were older age and pre-transplant diabetes.

Recipients who developed dementia had about a 43 percent change of losing function of their transplanted kidney within 10 years compared to a nearly 29 percent change in recipients who did not develop dementia.

In other news about Alzheimer’s, Forest Laboratories and subsidiary Forest Pharmaceuticals will pay $38 million to settle allegations it provided payments and meals to doctors to prescribe certain medications, including Namenda, which is prescribed to some individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

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