Ibuprofen May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

These findings do not justify taking NSAIDs as a way to prevent dementia, researchers warned.

The use of the anti-inflammatory and painkiller ibuprofen is linked to lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Patients who used ibuprofen for more than 5 years were 40 per cent less likely to develop the disease compared with patients who did not use that type of drug at all.

The study is the work of researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, and the Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bedford, also in Massachusetts and is published online in the 6th May issue of the journal Neurology.

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs are a range of non-steroidal drugs that reduce pain and fever, and also inflammation when taken in higher doses.

Previous studies have shown contradictory results about the link between use of NSAIDs and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Study author Dr Steven Vlad, with Boston University School of Medicine, said their results suggest that it is specific NSAIDs rathen than NSAIDs that are linked with reduced Alzheimer’s risk.

The object of the study was to examine the impact of long term NSAID use on risk of Alzheimer’s disease, by looking at how it suppresses the formation of Aβ1-42 amyloid, the main protein present in senile plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study the investigators searched records from the large US Veterans Affairs Health Care system database and found over 49,000 Alzheimer’s patients over 55 years of age and matched them to over 196,000 controls from the same population.

The results showed that longer term use of NSAIDs was linked to lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to non-use of NSAIDs (odds ratio decreased from 0.98 for 1 year or less, to 0.76 for over 5 years).

But, they found the findings were “clearest for ibuprofen”, and that “Aβ1-42-suppressing NSAIDs did not differ from others”. These findings do not justify taking NSAIDs as a way to prevent dementia, they warned.