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Non-Steroidals Protective Against Alzheimer's Disease

Findings most clear for ibuprofen

TUESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appears to protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to an article published in the May 6 issue of Neurology.

Steven C. Vlad, M.D., of Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues compared data from the U.S. Veterans Affairs Health Care system including 49,349 U.S. veterans aged 55 and older with Alzheimer's disease and 196,850 controls, in order to determine whether NSAID use impacted the risk of Alzheimer's disease. They also investigated whether NSAIDs that suppressed Aβ1-42 levels (ibuprofen, sulindac, indomethacin and diclofenac) had a stronger protective effect.

Overall, 42 percent of cases and 40 percent of controls received at least one NSAID prescription during the study period, the researchers report. Compared to no NSAID use, the odds ratio for Alzheimer's disease among those who used NSAIDs decreased from 0.98 for less than one year of use to 0.76 for more than five years of NSAID use. The protective effect was strongest with ibuprofen, the report suggests. No significant differences were noted between NSAIDs that suppressed Aβ1-42 levels and those that did not.

"We found that long-term users of NSAIDs were at lower-than-expected risk of Alzheimer's disease. Our results generally agree with and extend those of prior epidemiologic studies," the authors conclude.

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