Pain relieving drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen are effective in minimising a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a study has found.
Researchers found that people who took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had a 23% lower risk of Alzheimer’s in comparison with people who did not use the drugs, after studying the data from six studies in which 13,499 people took part.
NSAIDs include common drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and others) and naproxen (Aleve).
In the study, published in the journal Neurology, the researchers noted that different types of NSAIDs have different properties, but they delivered essentially the same level of risk reduction.
“When we looked at different sub-groups [of NSAIDs], we found no evidence that there was any difference in the reduction in risk,” said Peter Zandi of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA.
Alzheimer’s disease has been linked with inflammation, which NSAIDs targets along with other effects.
Mr Zandi said previous research had suggested ibuprofen may provide a particular protective effect because it might guard against a type of plaque found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. But he said this latest study did not back that up, noting that ibuprofen delivered protection no better or worse than the other drugs.
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