Does ADT lead to cognitive impairment?

There is hardly a more controversial topic around ADT than the question of how long-term use of ADT might affect memory and mental processing; i.e., cognition. This paper is a follow-up to an earlier, short-term study, which concluded that ADT does not impair cognitive function. In this new paper, data from the earlier study are extended out to three years and the conclusion still holds. The participants were 52 ADT users, 49 prostate cancer patients not on ADT, and 54 health controls, who took a battery of 14 different cognitive tests on an annual basis for all three years.

The authors come from a strong Canadian research team and believe that their results should be reassuring for both patients and their healthcare providers. However, that is hardly likely to close discussion on this topic as other recent studies have linked ADT with increased risk of cognitive impairment.  A major problem is that the different researchers use different tests to assess cognitive function. 


Alibhai SM, Timilshina N, Duff-Canning S, Breunis H, Tannock IF, Naglie G, Fleshner NE, Krahn MD, Warde P, Marzouk S, Tomlinson GA. 2016. Effects of long-term androgen deprivation therapy on cognitive function over 36 months in men with prostate cancer. Cancer [Epub ahead of print] 1 September 2016.