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Latest Findings: Use of Medical Contrast Media on Patients Significantly Increases Risk of Dementia

re: Alzheimer’s disease

I started getting uncomfortable about 'contrast' 10-15 years ago, eg gadolinium and other stuff that has no business going through my body and kidneys. My first experience made me feel pretty weird, and not in a healthy way.

Doctors poo-pooed my concern (out of ignorance), but I never again allowed a contrast agent after the first usage about 20 years ago. I am now doubly glad about that decision. Would I allow it today? Only if there were some deadly issue that needed to be delineated clearly.

The Epoch Times: Latest Findings: Use of Medical Contrast Media on Patients Significantly Increases Risk of Dementia


A new study conducted by National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) and Taichung Veterans General Hospital found that the contrast medium (CM) used on patients during radiological examinations may significantly increase the risk of vascular dementia.

Doctors use contrast media to increase the visibility of organs, blood vessels, and tissues when performing computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans on patients.

It has been found that some contrast media can cause renal failure, acute kidney injury, and death because the contrast medium can cause toxicity to the renal tubular epithelial cells directly, leading to renal dysfunction or even necrosis (death of tissue), and microvascular problems in the kidney indirectly.

Chih-Cheng Hsu, deputy director of the Institute of Population Health Science of the NHRI, said that since some contrast media have been proven to damage the kidneys. The brain and kidneys are covered with many blood vessels, so it was speculated that contrast medium might also affect the brain and cause dementia.

Dementia is further divided into common Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VD). The worldwide incidence rate of VD has grown rapidly in recent years, and the age group is getting younger, which has attracted the attention of the public and the medical industry.

...Although the incidence rate is not high, the risk of dementia for those who have used a contrast medium within 10 years is 2.09 times higher than for those who have not. And the incidence of vascular dementia is four times higher. People with diabetes and depression are generally considered to be at high risk of dementia.

The so-called vascular dementia is rapid damage to the brain caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.

In addition, the report shows that intra-arterial injection (into an artery) of the contrast medium easily allows the contrast medium to enter the blood circulation of the brain, which may affect the brain, then the risk of dementia caused by arterial injection is greater than that of intravenous injection. These research results were published in the international journal Biomedicines in mid-August.


He emphasized that the identification of tumors, kidney stones, and the placement of cardiovascular stents requires the help of a contrast medium. The aim of this study is not to prevent the public from checking with contrast medium but to use it only when necessary.

After the press conference, Taiwan’s NHRI mentioned that the study still has some limitations. The results of the study only confirm that the use of contrast medium is highly “correlated” with an increased risk of dementia, but further research is needed to show whether it has a “cause and effect relationship” because data on the patients’ dietary habits and the dose of contrast medium used at the time are absent.

WIND: correlation is not causation, but a doubling of risk over a huge cohort gets my attention.

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