Mindy J Kim-Miller, MD, PhD
Although many studies have examined the effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the results remain confusing.
Some of the common NSAIDs used in these studies include aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), celecoxib (Celebrex), naproxen (Aleve), indomethacin (Indocin), and sulindac (Clinoril).
One report published in June of 2008 examined data from six previous studies and found that all NSAIDs appear to be equally effective at preventing Alzheimer’s. Of the 13,499 participants in these studies, 820 developed Alzheimer’s. Most of the participants the six studies examined were over 64 years old, and those who developed Alzheimer’s were usually over 80 years old.
People who used any type of NSAID had a 23% reduction in the risk of developing the disease compared with those who never used the drugs. The only exception was acetaminophen, which did not significantly decrease the risk.
The six studies varied on the definition of NSAID use. Three studies defined it as current use. One study looked at current use plus use over the previous 2 weeks. Another study assessed use over the prior 2 years, and one defined use as current or former use of four or more doses per week for 1 month or longer.
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