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Reduced Alzheimer's Risk with NSAIDs Depends on Genetics

Benefit not found with acetaminophen or aspirin

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease, although the reduction for Alzheimer's is found only in individuals with a particular genetic background, researchers report in the Jan. 1 issue of Neurology.

Christine A. Szekely, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined whether treatment with NSAIDs, aspirin and the non-NSAID acetaminophen affected the incidence of dementia, vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease in 3,229 individuals at least 65 years old.

The researchers found that patients taking NSAIDs had a lower risk of dementia (adjusted hazard ratio 0.76) and Alzheimer's disease (adjusted hazard ratio 0.63), but not vascular dementia. The reduction for Alzheimer's disease was present only in individuals with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) e-4 allele (adjusted hazard ratio 0.34 versus 0.88 for individuals without the allele) regardless of age. NSAIDs reported to selectively reduce the amyloid-beta peptide variant A-beta-42 did not lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Acetominophen and aspirin did not affect the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

"Results were consistent with previous cohort studies showing reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease in NSAID users, but this association was found only in those with an APOE e4 allele, and there was no advantage for A-beta-42-lowering NSAIDs," Szekely and colleagues conclude.

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