Androgen Deprivation Therapy Linked with Cognitive Impairment

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Men undergoing ADT to treat prostate cancer may experience impaired cognitive function.
Men undergoing ADT to treat prostate cancer may experience impaired cognitive function.

Men undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) to treat prostate cancer may experience impaired cognitive function within the first six months that persists for at least a year, a new study suggests. The report was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Brian Gonzalez, Ph.D., of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and colleagues evaluated 58 prostate cancer patients before they began ADT and six months and 12 months later.

The investigators compared them with 84 men who were treated with prostatectomy and 88 men without prostate cancer.

Impaired cognitive functioning was worse for men receiving ADT. But men with the gene mutation rs1047776 were 14 times more likely to have cognitive issues related to ADT than men without this mutation, Gonzalez told HealthDay.

RELATED: Lethal Metastatic Prostate Cancer May Spread from Other Sites

"Men who are considering hormone therapy for prostate cancer should be aware of the possible mental side effects," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez suspects altering testosterone levels might cause cognitive impairment. But men on ADT also experience fatigue and depression, which might affect their mental abilities, too, he said.


  1. Gonzalez, Brian D., et al. "Course and Predictors of Cognitive Function in Patients With Prostate Cancer Receiving Androgen-Deprivation Therapy: A Controlled Comparison." Journal of Clinical Oncology. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.60.1963. [epub ahead of print]. May 11, 2015.

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