Vasectomy and Dementia (PPA) May be Linked in Men
In the study published by Dr. Sandra Weintraub in the journal Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, the control group of men had a 17 percent saturation of vasectomies whereas in the group of men who had dementia roughly 40 percent had had vasectomies in their past. The difference in the two groups is statistically significant and could point to a new risk factor for dementia and PPA.
Reasoning behind the link is less clear but a little pondering leads us to notice that this finding seemingly has nothing to do with the other known risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, inflammation, or anti-social behavior. This new risk factor is completely different from the other factors which can lead to other health problems in addition to dementia and early onset dementia. This new risk factor seems to be specific to one side effect, an increased risk for PPA.
Until more research is conducted and more understanding of the mechanism behind this association one might want to reconsider having a vasectomy… or at least delaying it. Then again, a slight increase in your risk for PPA might trump the increased risk for pregnancy in your life… not to mention the effects of birth control pills on hormone levels or the invasive risks associated with laparoscopy in women. Another thought that occurred to me is that vasectomies are reversible. Until further research has been done this might be motivation to men to have reversals done in cases where the wife or partner has already experienced menopause. Once that chances for conception are gone the vasectomy is no longer useful. You might as well reverse it if lowering dementia risks are important to you.
Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Dec. 2006 - http://journals.lww.com/cogbehavneurol/Abstract/2006/12000/Vasectomy_in_Men_With_Primary_Progressive_Aphasia.4.aspx