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Ibuprofen No Better at Reducing Alzheimer's Risk
Date:5/28/2008

Aspirin, naproxen as effective, but experts don't endorse use of the drugs to combat dementia

WEDNESDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- The painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appear to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but no one medication in the class works better than the others, a new analysis finds.

Data from the study, the largest of its kind, contradicts some previous studies that found that ibuprofen might exceed others in its class when it comes to preventing this type of dementia. Besides ibuprofen, other types of NSAIDs include naproxen and aspirin.

But the bottom line, the study authors said, is that the findings don't support the use of NSAIDs to prevent or treat Alzheimer's, at least not yet anyway.

"You do not want to take NSAIDs to prevent against Alzheimer's," said study senior author Peter P. Zandi, an assistant professor of mental health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. "We don't have any sufficient data to make any recommendations like that, but we need to figure out what's going on so we can better understand the explanation for this finding."

Added Dr. Gary Kennedy, head of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City: "The reader should be aware that what was conveyed [by the NSAIDs in the study] was a fraction of a benefit."

The findings are published in the May 28 online issue of Neurology.

While some observational studies have indicated that NSAIDs -- especially ibuprofen -- might lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's, a recent large, randomized, controlled trial found no effect in treating the disease. Meanwhile, some basic science studies have indicated that certain NSAIDs might reduce production of a peptide fragment called A beta 42, which is a key component of the plaques that develop in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

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