People suffering from gout are at reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's, reveals a new study.

Gout is categorized by recurrent occurrence of acute inflammatory arthritis. Gout is normally caused by increased level of uric acid in the body. People suffering with gout are at an elevated risk of kidney and heart problems. However, a recent study suggests that uric acid has antioxidant properties, which protects a person from developing neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

The research included examining data of about 3.7 million people all over the age of 40 years, who did not have any history of dementia or gout.

"Overall, the researchers identified 309 new cases of Alzheimer's disease among 59,224 patients with gout (average age of 65) and 1,942 cases among 238,805 people in the comparison group over an average five-year follow up," per the study's press release.

The study suggests that people with gout are 24 percent less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

The authors of the study suggest that the findings reveal the first population-based evidence for the protective role of gout on Alzheimers' disease. The study also highlights uric acid's neuroprotective role in the body.

Further therapeutic investigation is needed, which can also help in stopping the progression of Parkinson's disease, another degenerative condition that affects millions of people worldwide, especially the elderly.

Millions of people across the globe suffer from neurodegenerative conditions and Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of neurodegenerative disorder. Alzheimer's account for about 60 to 70 percent of all dementia cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that there were more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer's in the U.S. in 2013. Alzheimer's usually starts after age 60 years and the symptoms increase with age. Young people also get Alzheimer's but the rate is very low.

The CDC also suggests that the Alzheimer's cases will increase threefold by 2020 and about 14 million people will suffer from the disease in the next five years.

Currently, there are no cures for Alzheimer's and treatment involves relieving the symptoms. However, the latest study is a step towards understanding the role of uric acid in preventing the progression of Alzheimer's, which will help scientists develop new treatments.

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