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Posted: June 03, 2008

Aspirin and Naproxen Join Ibuprofen in Reducing Alzheimer's Risk

Fresh on the heels of word that ibuprofen appears to reduce Alzheimer’s risk, medical experts are reporting that, in fact, other types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including naproxen and aspirin, appear to be equally effective in lowering the risk of the disease.

 

Word that these other common NSAIDs appear to ward off Alzheimer’s comes amidst a debate among experts who have considered whether a certain group of NSAIDs that includes ibuprofen is actually more beneficial than another group that includes naproxen and aspirin.

 

The list was expanded following analysis of results from the largest research project of its kind. The analysis was published in the online issue of the journal Neurology.

 

Just three weeks ago, Boston University researchers announced results of a separate five-year study of nearly 250,000 veterans that indicated the power of ibuprofen – including Advil, Nuprin and Motrin – in reducing Alzheimer’s risk when used over a long period.

 

In the latest published study, researchers examined data on NSAID use in 13,499 people without dementia, drawn from six different studies. Over the course of these six studies, 820 participants developed Alzheimer’s disease.

 

They found that people who used NSAIDs had 23% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to those who never used NSAIDs. The risk reduction did not appear to depend upon the type of NSAID taken.

 

“This is an interesting finding because it seems to challenge a current theory that the NSAID group which includes ibuprofen may work better in reducing a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s,” said study author Peter P. Zandi, PhD, with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. “The NSAID group that includes ibuprofen was thought to target a certain type of plaque in the brain found in Alzheimer’s patients. But our results suggest there may be other reasons why these drugs may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.”

 

The study’s lead author, Chris Szekely, PhD, with Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, says the discrepancy between studies such as this one and the negative clinical trials of NSAIDs in treatment or prevention of Alzheimer’s need to be further explored.

 

Data used in the study were collected with support from the National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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